Plato’s theory of forms is unconvincing discuss Plato was a duellist and thus believed that there are two worlds; the material world and the world of ideas/Forms. The world of ideas or Forms is the true reality and the world of appearances is just reflections of world of Forms. Plato believed that our knowledge of the Forms was a priori which means that our souls knew the Forms before it was inside us, therefore we have knowledge prior to experiencing the objects with our senses. Plato believes everyone is born with an intuitive but imperfect understanding of the Forms. He also believes the philosopher is able, through using his intellect, to achieve true knowledge of the abstract Forms without using his senses.
He argued that they were part of the structure of the mind and that we would have no experience without them. He says that sight, smell, touch etc. are all meaningless to us unless they are brought under these innate concepts. Kant believes in a world beyond our conceptual scheme called the noumenal world which he says we can know nothing about and it is impossible to discuss. People have criticized this view by say that how can Kant know that the Noumenal world exists if there is no evidence of it.
Plato argues that rather than being taught how to perceive things such as beauty or morality, through our physical senses, we instinctively have a general grasp of them through the theoretical form. In other words, the beautiful things we can see are beautiful only because they are part of the more general Form of Beauty. This Form of Beauty is itself invisible, eternal, and unchanging, unlike the things in the visible world that can grow old and lose their beauty. The Theory of Forms envisions an entire world of such Forms, a world that exists outside of time and space, where Beauty, Justice, Courage, Temperance, and the like exist untarnished by the changes and imperfections of the visible world. Plato also suggested that the theoretical form was never ending, unlike the physical form which starts at our conception/birth and ends at the moment that we die.
Aristotle has a monist approach to the soul, unlike Plato he says that the soul cannot exist without the body. The soul is not a body but something that belongs in a body, comparable to the brain; it is necessary and is within all humans and it gives us reason, intellect and an innate sense of justice. This therefore can make his theory more convincing than Plato’s as the soul isn’t ‘immortal’ and dies along with the body, thereby eliminating the theory of reincarnation which is hard for anyone who isn’t Hindu to believe as it is contradictory to their religious views. Aristotle states that all reason is associated with the pure thought of the Prime Mover and the soul is what gives the body its shape and form; he argued that the soul is not a substance but the reason and shape behind the matter. Best described by using the example of a marble statue, as the marble stature is essentially a block of marble but it has a shape and form and like the body the soul, the shape and form cannot be removed from what the statue is, in the same way the body cannot be separated from the soul.
Those that would argue against Dawkins’ ideas may consider themselves dualists; the most famous dualist would be Plato. Following on from his Theory of the World of the Forms, he argued that the soul is, in fact, more important than the body. This is because the body is a part of the physical and empirical world, and will eventually decay; whereas the soul is a separate entity, and is eternal, immortal and unchanging – like those things which belong in the World of the Forms. Plato uses two arguments to suggest why the soul must exist outside of our bodies: firstly, the argument of knowledge: many mathematical problems are true in all circumstances, whether this is in the physical world or the World of the Forms. Therefore, learning is actually only remembering what the soul already knew from the World of the Forms.
Epictetus’ philosophical theories were that we only had control over your thoughts, opinions, desires, aversions, and movement towards things. He believed that those were the only things in the world that you had total control over, everything that is inside of us is free, and everything outside of the human body is weak, slavish, hindered and belongs to others. He believes that when you do not have your priorities straight you will end up “miserable and distressed, and you will find fault with both gods and men.”(From Plato to Derrida p.239 chapter 1) The way he believed that your priorities should be is like this; “you suppose to be yours only what is yours, and what belongs to another to belong another, no one will ever compel you, no one will ever hinder you; you will find fault with no one, reproach no one, nor act against your own will; you will have no enemies and no one will harm you, for no harm can touch you.”(From Plato to Derrida p.239 chapter 1) Epictetus’s master was torturing him by turning his leg and Epictetus told him to stop because he was going to break it. The master did not stop and broke his leg shortly after that.
Samantha Fairbairn EUH2000 Essay 1 2/10/12 Republic of Plato vs. Plutarch’s Lives The definition of an ideal state can never be limited to only one. Both Socrates and Lycurgus in Plato’s Republic and Plutarch’s Lives, respectively, have different views on what the true ideal state is. Socrates believes that there can only be harmony between the classes in a state when a king is a philosopher, or when philosophy and political power correspond. Yet Lycurgus had the idea that the ideal state must be in harmony with its inhabitants with as much equality as possible. Lycurgus’ interpretation of the ideal state is much more clear and realistic than Socrates’.
According to St. Anselm in his ontological argument, he describes God as an idea or concept of which nothing greater can be conceived (Living Issues in Philosophy, page 388). In this he guides thought by arguing “If the most perfect being existed only in thought and not in reality, then it would not really be the most perfect being. One that exists in the mind and in reality would be more perfect.” Anselm concludes his theory with “no one who understands what God is; can conceive that God does not exist. (A. J. Hoober). Existence is a part of perfection.
Of the many objections to his Mediations on Philosophy, Descartes believed only two to be valid. One of these objections was based on Descartes’ claim that he proved the existence of an infinite being. Descartes believed that he proved the existence of a perfect being through the processes he laid down in his Discourse on Method. His theories provided many interesting new ideas. Like any new ideas, his ideas faced objection.
For example, the term “human” names the eternal existing Form of the human. Plato’s first argument for the Forms can be considered an epistemological argument. Plato claims that: knowledge is enduring, and a true rational belief based on instruction. He says we do have knowledge, but that it cannot be about the world of the senses (because the senses can deceive); therefore it must be about an eternal world. This enduring world is the world of the Forms.