It could be said that Plato picked up where Socrates left off before he died. Socrates would ask if it were possible for us as human beings to know the true nature of Virtue, of Good, of Justice, etc. And where many failed to thoroughly answer Socrates’ questions, Plato simply said yes, by means of what he famously refers to as his Theory of the Forms. This theory encompasses what is undoubtedly the most significant philosophical ideology Plato has ever come up with. Using this theory, Plato deems it possible to find the true being of virtue, good, justice, etc. or rather to find its form. From this, the idea of Metaphysics was created. Metaphysics itself is defined as a, “branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world that encompasses it, although the term is not easily defined2.” In short, Plato was the very first example of a metaphysical thinker. However, Socrates was not the only philosophical influence Plato used in formulating his ideas about the forms. Two examples of a handful of Pre Socratic thinkers whose ideas influenced those behind Plato’s forms are Parmenides of Elea and Pythagoras of Samos.
Parmenides of Elea was one of the first thinkers to inquire about the nature of Being and Truth. His one written work is a poem that he divides into three separate parts, the first being The Proem, the second The Way of Truth, and the third The Way of Opinion. In The Way of Truth, he makes it clear that there are only two ways to think about, what he refers to as, what is and what is not. “The one (way), that it is and it is impossible that ‘not-to-be’ is; The other that is not and that it is necessary that ‘not-to-be’ is (I.53 Parmenides, fr.2).” This idea, revolving around his premise, ‘it is,’ simply means that what is, is, and what is not could never be, since it is impossible for anything that is not to in fact exist. In our universe, air exists, water exists, humans exist etc. But what doesn’t exist, there are no examples for, since they never were nor will they be in existence. Although complex, it is a very genius notion. And although there are many different things that we can sense and think about, everything that is, is