Essay Cover Sheet: Name, Id Number, Tutorial section number. (pg.209 Appendix 2)
What is the essence of something?
Plato and Socrates wanted to reconcile the problem of constancy and change they sought to find out
what is real and what is an illusion.
The essence is the ONE thing that the MANY particular things of the same kind have in common, that
makes them all things of the same kind, and that can serve as a standard by which to judge in particular
I.e. The essence of beauty is what many beautiful things have in common; that qualifies them to be
beautiful and that can be used to judge whether something really is beautiful.
Involves asking questions in order to find the truth.
Recollection- we possess truth but need help remembering it.
A Euthypro Problem
Is something pious because it is beloved of the gods, or is it beloved of the gods, or is it beloved of the
gods because it is pious? (What came first the chicken or the egg)
Do I love her because she is loveable or is she loveable because I love her.
The new Idealism: Plato’s Forms:
There is one ideal, true form. (Form x) Then there are other ‘copies’ forms of this Pure, True form of x(X1,
X2, X3) The true form is Transcendent & Eternal while the copies are Visible & Changing.
The Reality of the Forms:
If one thing is more beautiful than another thing, then it more closely approximates perfect Beauty than
the other thing does.
But one thing cannot approximate perfect Beauty more closely than another thing unless there is such a
thing as a perfect Beauty for it to more closely. So since we are able to judge something, different levels
of beauty then there must be one perfect ideal beauty.
There are triangular objects, images of triangular objects and Real triangles. The image is the least real,
then the object is a little more real and the real triangle is the perfect ultimate real triangle.
Plato’s Forms: The allegory of the Cave
This allegory illustrates both his ideals of metaphysics and his epistemology. It shows us both his
conception of reality as well as what constitutes ‘true’ knowledge. The shadows that the prisoners see
are reflections of true thing