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Flashcards in Plato Deck (36)
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Why does the theory of the forms suggest evidence for immortal life?

We have concepts of the perfect forms thus our souls must have known them before we were born (innate, ‘a priori’ knowledge) –evidence that we have immortal souls.


How do the forms translate to physical objects?

Forms give physical objects what reality they have because of their resemblance.


Why is the Form of the Good the most important form?

Because, once you understand the Good, it will enable you to understand other Forms such as Justice and Beauty, because they are all aspects of goodness. The Good illuminates everything else, the further away from the good you get, the paler things become.


What is the hierarchy of the forms?

The Good
Universal Qualities (Justice, Truth, beauty)
Concepts and Ideals
Physical Living objects
Physical inanimate objects


What are the strengths of Plato's forms?

It explains why we all recognise the same essential elements in something
This argument helps us to understand why there are imperfections in the world around us.
It encourages us to question in order to learn and to not accept things at face value.
Brian Davies would argue that without Forms we would not be able to discuss, argue, agree or disagree on ‘general features of the real world’, such as ‘beauty’ or justice’, because we would have no knowledge or recognition of what these


What are the weaknesses of Plato's Forms?

You can't prove that the world of forms exist.
Infinite regression- if you can have a form of a form, why can't you have a form of a form of a form...
People can argue that good is subjective, and no two people will come to the same conclusion about what is good.
It is unlikely that everything has an ideal form (cancer cells for example)
It does not help us make sense of the world we live in
Undermines our need for sense
Plato is unclear about how the world of Forms relates to our world.
Ideals change from culture and time- no true form.