The Forms Are of No Use in the Real World

520 Words3 Pages
Although there are many strengths of Plato’s forms, the theory also has a lot of flaws. For example, there is the ‘third man’ argument as well as fact that the theory does not have any conclusive proof. One criticism of Plato’s theory is that the existence of any other world other than our own is impossible - only his World of Appearances can be proved to be ‘true’ and real; his theory of a World of the Forms existing will always remain just that - a theory. If there is no conclusive proof that the Forms exist, how can they be of use to us in the real, illusionistic world? A second criticism of his theory is that the forms could just be ideas in people’s minds. It could be argued that ideas such as justice cannot be portrayed in a physical form in a different reality, instead only existing in someone’s head. How can an idea, like beauty or justice, be portrayed in a solid form? Beauty and justice are both perceptive - something that is beautiful may not be considered as ‘true’ beauty by different people. Can a concept that varies between billions of people really exist in an external reality as in the World of the Forms? If someone does not pass on their idea of a concept, such as their definition of beauty, the idea dies out - ideas are not independent of the minds in which they are preserved. Furthermore, Aristotle said that knowledge cannot be innate - for him, knowledge comes from experience of the empirical world rather than the World of the Forms. He said that knowledge was taught rather than our soul's previous knowledge of the World of the Forms that we then remember. A final criticism of Plato’s theory is the third man argument. Plato explains the resemblance between any two material objects by pointing out the similarities if they share a common form. For example, a red book and a red flower resemble each other in that they are both pale
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