Plato’s letter reflects on his youth
Contains a defense of Plato’s political activities in Sycrause
The theory of forms
Problems inherent to teaching
Long digression concerning the nature of philosophy
Urges the nothing of importance should be committed to writing What are three major goals of Plato’s philosophy?
Find the pattern of a just state
Demonstrate the error of skepticism (the view that for every claim to know, reason can be given to doubt it) and relativism (all standards and knowledge claims are valid only relative to times, individuals, or cultures)
Distinguish opinion vs. knowledge
Prove we DO have knowledge
Explain the nature of what we can say we know
Validate Socrates’ teachings and life steps
What is the reasoning of Plato’s Epistemological Argument and why is it called epistemological?
The epistemological argument is one leg supporting the theory of forms
Distinction between opinion vs. knowledge
Proves we DO have knowledge
Explains the nature of what we know
What is the reasoning of Plato’s Metaphysical Argument and why is it called metaphysical?
This argument starts not from the nature of knowledge and it difference from opinion, but from the nature of things.
A similarity among things indicates that they have something in common
What they have in common cannot be just another thing of the same sort as they are.
For example: Cynthia or Monia is not something that other pairs of things could share in the way they can share kindness; each of the two people can be nice but it is nonsense to suppose that each can be Cynthia.
What is the reasoning of Plato’s Semantic Argument and why is it called semantic?
Semantics is a discipline that deals with words, in particular with the meaning of words and how words are related to what they are about.
Humans, Elephants: whenever we give the same name to a plurality of things, it is legitimate to assume that we are naming a form.
What are the differences between opinion and knowledge?
May be true or false
Is not backed up by reasons
Is the result of persuasion
Endures or stays put
Is always true
Is backed up by reasons
Is the result of instruction
• What does Plato want to prove with these three arguments?
Plato wants to prove the error of skepticism and relativism
• What are the Platonic Forms?
The forms are not anything we can smell, taste, touch, or see, but that is not to say they are unreal or imaginary.
You can’t know what is not, for the simple reason that in that case there is not anything there to know. You can only know what is; if you do know something, there must be something in reality for you to know
Plato agrees with Parmenides on his critique of the senses.
The forms are not only real; they are more real than anything you can see, touch, or hear.
Of what is – knowledge
Of what is not – invincible ignorance
The intelligible (forms) has this kind of superiority to the visible: it endures.
The form (object of thought) is more real than those things (the objects of sight) that participate in it.
In forms we have the proper objects of knowledge which must itself endure
• Divided Line
In the divided line there are two worlds
“the visible” – the real world; A and B portions of the divided line
“the intelligible” – The Forms; C and D portions of the divided line
The intelligible world of the forms is related to the entire visible world in exactly the same way as things within the visible world are related to their likeness.
He believed the objects in the lower realm were physical objects and the objects in the higher realm were “Forms” or “Eidos.” He believed the Forms were perfect and were more real than the physical objects. He thought that whereas physical objects were spatio-temporal, changing and changeable, sensible, and copies of Forms, Forms were transcendent, eternal, intelligible, and archetypal.