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17. Plato's Forms.docx

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Philosophy 1020
John Thorp

17. Plato's Forms (November 8, 2011) 0. Preliminary matters a) The meaning of "metaphysics"  Greek> after  Aristotole called the subject “first questions” or “first philosophy”  Study of most basic questions of reality  Overlaps with cosmology, logic, math, theology and psychology b) Our program for this unit  What is real?  Mind and bodies?  Selves  The question of free will  Time 1. Introductory question: the nature of numbers  Where do elephants exist? o Africa, zoo etc.  Where do numbers exist? o Not physical objects o Numbers are used to count physical objects, but they are not themselves in physical objects o Mental objects, like thoughts or dreams? o Numbers must be public objects, non- physical objects o Independent in our minds, but not located in physical space o Not objects of perception but objects of thought o Numbers are real things Numbers appear to be real public objects, nonspatial, eternal, and not perceptible but knowable 2. Plato's Forms  Another word, Plato’s word, for such public but non- physical, nonspatial object is  Plato thought the forms were more real than ordinary physical things a) Properties of Forms
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