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May 24 ϕ

➡3rd platonic argument is based on semantics

➡There are two kinds of words that we use, there are prope nmes like “socrates” but it is not just a
sound it stands for a paerticular human being

➡General terms like “mountain: refer to a class or a group of things that share something in com-
mon and this stands for a form

➡There is also a hierarchy of orms Form of good> Knowledge, beauty, etc.,>Justice, equality, >
mountain, girraffe….etc.,

➡ We cannot know what is not

➡We can only know what is

➡If we do know something, there must be something in reality for us to know

➡All of this is to say that the objects of knowledge are forms and the forms are real

➡Fors are more real than things perceived through our senses , and the way he reasons this is
through the following

➡We can have knowledge and that is ---->through the forms

➡We can have opinions are somewhere between knowledge and invincible ignorance so the ob-
jects of the opinion are ------>sensible things since they change

➡And we can have invincible ignorance ---->what is not

➡Everything in the visible world comes into being , and pass out of existence

➡Sensible things are real but he is saying that they are less real than the forms that we perceive
through the intellect and what makes them less real is change

➡So plato is telling us that ‘reality’ is not the way it seems to us; it is not only the visible world

➡How are these realities related ?

➡Shadow ----> is less real than the thing hat casts a shadow - the existence of-the shadow is de-
pendent on the existence of the shadow , the shape of the shadow is explained by the shape of
my hand-so the relationship of the hand both explains and brings into existence of the hand

➡So if we have two things: a, b ---> if b is dependent on a then if a goes away then o does b

➡Even in te sensible world we have degrees of reality hand/shadow/perception of shadow

➡Plato in book VI of the Republic he describes the dividing line to explain his metaphysics and his
May 24 ϕ
➡Imagine tha you have a line, and that you divide that line into two unequal subsections, and then
divide both lines again in unequal sections, according to the same ratio

➡The section AB represents the the sensible world, ancd CD is going to represent the intelligible

➡People live at the bottom of a canyon

➡And there is a taboo against looking up and out of the canyon

➡There are eagles that fly and perch themselves on the edge of the canyn, and as the sun moves the
shadows of those eagles slide down the wals of the canyon , and for many years the people who
live at the bottom of the canyn have been studying these shadows and they have been gathering a
lot of informatio about these shadows; but they have never seen an actual physical eagle, they are
only ffamiliar with the shadows

➡Section a of the divided line, plato calls images; in our allegory they correspond to the shadows of
the eagles on the edge are the real part

➡One day an eagle is injured, and makes its way o the bottom of the canyon, ad they t find out what
an egale really looks like

➡This eagle explains the shadows and produces the shadows

➡More eagles fallin and all of them have a participate in the form of an eagle

➡The intelligible world explains and produces the sensible world

➡The forms have an actual independence that the eagles lack

➡So section b is what he would call perceptible, they arethings that we cn perceive , in the case of
the canyon it would be that particular eagle that is fallen.

➡Section C and D of the line are Lower and higher forms, respectively

➡Double, triangle, square are taken for granted , taking these forms for granted eexplain the so-
lution for us; any section on the right of the line explain and produce anything on the left side of
the line , explanation moves from right to left

➡The form of a square is explained and produced through forms of lines, right angles and planes
> these forms are higher forms

➡The way we have to apprehenddifferent realities, is through imagination(a-b), sense(b-c)

perception,>science(c-d)>dialectic(d- )

➡As we move further right o the line we will reach smething tht explains everything, from which
there is no infinite regression and that is the form of good, which explains everything hat follows
May 24 ϕ
➡The form of good does not require anything else beside itself to understand or explain it

➡So the dialectic is a pureyl ration discipline, he says science is okay, since it builds an explana-
tion fr forms tht are hypothetical

➡Dialectic is going to ursue that explanation of the first principle

➡The end of the traveller’s journey is reaching the form of the good‽

➡In the dialogue “Phædo” he says that in his youth he was impressed wth a presocratic
because he read the anixmiles’ theory why things happen

➡The explanation for anything existing in a present state is because it is the best possi-
ble outcome for that particular thing----> the form of the good ultimately explains
everything so his φ was that all things are in their best state of existence

➡But when we ask socrates what the form of the good is, he says he cnnot put it into
words but he can give an analogy: if you look at the sun; it allows us to see things Iin
the world, but we need a lot of other things in order tosee, the sun also nurished things
to grow so it supports the existence in the aame way the good explains and nourishes

➡Plato tells us that when we hit the form of the good we have a direct intuition, when we
see it we understand it it cannot be explained

➡What plato has achieved so far:

➡Skepticism is wrong and is in error, that we do have knowledge, that relativism is an


➡Knwledge must be about things that are unchangeable the forms are both eternal
and unchangeable and that knowledge cannot be about things in the sensible world

➡Knowledge of the forms enables us to understandthe world of the forms and the sensi-
ble world and the link between them

➡The highest form is the form of goodness, consequently the atomism of democritus is
an error

➡Reality is ultimately good disproving its apathetic nature towards moral values as pro-
posed by democritus

➡Atoms are not forms atoms =particular things *forms can be shared by many particular

➡The world for plato is profoundly moral and religious