Plato Theory of Forms Essay

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Plato's Theory of Forms is not something that is easy to understand. According to him the forms are a class concept that is a perfect example of the form itself. To anyone scanning through the forms they might not grasp the full concept Plato is trying to get across. However, if time is taken to examine Plato's theory it can make sense. For Plato everything has a pure form. If you take any property of an object and separate it from the object itself, you are left contemplating a form.
Plato splits up being into two worlds, the material world and the transcendent world of forms. We know of the world of forms through the mind, through reason; this gives us access to an unchanging world, secure from the changes of the material world. By
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All material objects are copies or images of some collection of forms; their reality comes only from the forms. The forms are the causes that make an object. They provide the explanation of why any object is the way it is, and they are the source or origin of the being of all things. The forms include a system leading down from the form of the "Good" moving from the more particular to more general. The form is never in the particular, it is a participant and resemblance from the form of the "Good."
The theory of forms can relate to other aspects of the Socratic/Platonic philosophy. In Phaedo the form of equality itself is used in order to explain knowledge. Socrates accounts for our knowledge of equality itself from sometime before birth. He says that after we are born we forget our knowledge of equality, and it is not until the process of learning that we come to recollect them. Socrates gives us the example of the sticks and stones. One might say that two sticks or stones are equal but we know from previous knowledge that they really cannot be equal. The reason for this is that we have knowledge of what it means to be perfectly equal. It is not until we see that which is seen as equal but is really unequal that we are reminded of the Form of Equality. It is only because we know the Form of Equality itself that we can tell if something is equal or unequal. Since in the intelligible world forms are immutable we will always have the knowledge of the pure Form