The Republic

Plato’s Concept of Form and the Particular Importance of 'The Form of the Good' 12th Grade

Plato’s Concept of the Forms stems from his dialogue ‘The Republic’, written in 380 BC. In this he discusses his use of ‘a priori’ knowledge - truth gained through logical and tangible thought. Instead of observing the world at face value, Plato was a rationalist and used his mind to deduce a more substantial concept, instead of using thoughts based solely upon his experience - a posteriori. Senses are far easier mistaken as they are relative to that person, whereas a logical thought progression can be easily followed by everyone, hence is certain.

Plato argued that the everyday, mundane world around us is deceiving our senses and is not the true reality. According to Plato, every single thing in our material world is a direct translation of a flawless, perfect version of it, in the world of the Forms. The World of the Forms takes the true essence of a substance its true nature. It is the gold standard of perfection, and the purest and most truthful thing imaginable. For example, the World of the Forms in comparison to the Material world is like comparing a four-poster bed and a pile of straw. It is a ‘blueprint for perfection’.

Each person has an innate knowledge, not only of the Forms, but also of how we classify things. For...

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