Chapter 9: Plato
- How does a baker bake fifty identical cookies?
- Why are all horses the same?
- Does man have an immortal soul?
- Are men and women equally sensible?
Plato was concerned with the relationship between what is eternal(idea)
and immutable, on one hand, and what "flows"(substance), on the other.
The World of Ideas
- Plato thought that everything that belonged to the "material world" can erode
- Everything that is made from a timeless "mold" or "form" is eternal and immutable.
i.e. A horse will die and its body will decay, but the "form" or idea of a horse is eternal
- Philosophers try to find this perfect mold.
- Thus, the conclusion is that there must be a reality behind the "material world." This world
of ideas, contains all the eternal and immutable "mold" from which everything we see comes.
- Nothing in the world of sense lasts.
- We can never have true knowledge of anything tha is in a constant state of change. We can only
have opinions about things that belong to the world of the senses, tangible things. We can only have
true knowledge of things that can be understood with our reason.
i.e. 8 - 3 = 5(substance) vs. a circle (idea)
An Immortal Soul
- Reality is divided in to two regions:
- a world of the senses where everything flows and nothinig is permanent.
- a world of ideas that cannot be perceived by the sense, but the ideas(forms) are eternal and immutable.
- Thus, man is divided into a body(sense, unreliable) and an immortal soul(the realm of reason).
- Plato thought that the soul existed before it inhabited the body. As soon as the soul begins existing in a
human body, it forgets all the perfect ideas.
A Philosophic State
According to Plato, the human body is composed of three parts: the head, the chest, and the abdomen.
First you have temperance, the courage, and then finally it leads you to wisdom.