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University of Ottawa
Mark Brown

A circle is a perfectly round geometric figure. -True or False? 2 + 2 = 4 -True or False? It is unjust to punish an innocent human. -True or False? Part of the worldview of critical thinking, like science, is the idea that ‘The world is publicly understandable.’ Examples:  ‘2 + 2= 4’ ‘A square is a plane figure with four equal straight sides and four right angles.’  The fact that we believe these statements does not make them true. Also, believing them to be false does not make them false. Rather, we can describe these statements as being objectively true. An objective truth is a truth about the world, about the way the world is regardless of what we may believe about it. Related to objective truths, are the existence of self- evident or necessary truths. We have considered that analytically true statements are self-evident statements that are necessarily true because of their form or because of the meanings of the words that make them up. For example: 5 + 6 = 11 A rectangle is a four-sided shape that is made up of two pairs of parallel lines and that has four right angles; especially : a shape in which one pair of lines is longer than the other pair. These two statements can be described as being analytically true or objectively true. On the other hand: 5 + 6 = 12 All rectangles have three sides. These two statements can be described as being analytically false or objectively false. As we will see, in matters of morality and/or justice, Plato believes that there exists an objective truth. The Figure of Socrates Socrates was Plato’s mentor, teacher and friend. Socrates was found guilty by the state of Athens for impiety and corrupting the youth and, as a consequence, he was executed. Socrates was known as a gadfly, as was constantly challenging the beliefs that people held. Socrates’ execution led Plato to contemplate many questions, with one being: What kind of society was it that could not tolerate a Socrates in its midst? In the eyes of Plato, Socrates was probably the closest thing to a Guardian or a Philosopher-King that society had ever witnessed. The state or city of Athens that executed Socrates committed a terrible mistake, in the eyes of Plato. Because Plato thought that something was nefariously wrong with this state, he set out to provide a blueprint for a just or perfect society, which is the focus of his highly influential work, the Republic. PLATO (427 BCE – 348 BCE) Metaphysics: The name for the branch of philosophy that reflects upon fundamental reality and asks, what are its characteristics, what is the nature of reality? Plato’s metaphysics puts forth the idea of two realities that can be e
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