In this article, I will discuss Plato’s view on the Intelligible World, the theory of Forms, and love. I will also discuss His views on rulers and states. This article is not meant to be an exhaustive analysis of Plato. The goal is to provide a brief introduction to the philosopher. To read Plato’s entire work, I recommend a few excellent books. Here are some of my favorites:
Plato’s belief in the Intelligible World
According to Plato, the world is divided into two parts, the visible world and the intelligible world. The visible world has two kinds of objects: real and shadows. The real world is what we can see with the naked eye. The intelligible world is what we cannot see, but can understand. The higher region contains first principles. Those hypotheses are based on the first principle, but are not real.
The highest position of the intelligible world is taken by the Idea of Rightness. Plato equates the Idea of Rightness with the Ideas of Beauty and God. Because this Idea of Rightness is absolute, it determines human behavior. Thus, all things tend towards it. However, the highest form of the intelligible world consists of the highest forms of virtue and of goodness.
The philosophic tradition identifies the highest sphere of knowledge as the visible world, and the lowest sphere as the intelligible world. Plato divides human society into three classes: auxiliaries, producers, and guardians. The Auxiliaries are responsible for keeping the city and its people in peace. The guardians, on the other hand, ensure that producers follow the convictions of their guardians.
The sensible world consists of two kinds of reality. Sensible particulars and Forms are a distinct realm. They are not the same, and neither are they equivalent. For these reasons, they cannot be regarded as separate realities. Both are equally real and are inseparable. But the sensibles, on the other hand, can acquire all their properties through participation. For the sensible world to be an ideal reality, it must be a material object.
The difference between F and not-F is a function of the spatio-temporal and material nature of particulars. As a result, the latter cannot be understood independently. As such, they must be accompanied by a prepositional phrase to make a distinction between the two. For the distinction between F and not-F to be meaningful, there needs to be some sort of spatial and temporal interaction between F and not-F.
His theory of Forms
The theory of forms is the basis for understanding human deception. It explains that objects perceived by our senses are nothing more than images. Objects that are more objective are therefore more real. In this way, we can understand why Plato thought we cannot see the future because it is not possible. The essay on Plato’s theory of forms is published by Cambridge University Press, and students are asked to properly cite the work.
Space, on the other hand, is the place-holder of form. Space is eternal and does not admit destruction. As such, it is a place where all things created find their home. This is an important distinction from the view of Aristotle, who considered time and space accidental forms, while Plato does not distinguish between the two. Instead, he views time and space as essential forms. For this reason, the idea of time in Plato’s theory is not just an abstraction but one that is real.
Moreover, the constitution of the theory of Forms is self-predication. That is, a Form exists only as itself. And the same goes for each individual Form. In other words, each individual Form is a monoeide. However, the form has an essential property of simplicity. It cannot have any other properties other than its essence. However, Plato’s theory of Forms highlights the importance of knowledge, especially when attempting to understand the nature of human beings.
The Theory of Forms is one of the most celebrated works of the philosopher Plato. The philosopher elucidates the nature of forms by describing them as supra-sensible entities. He asserts that by studying forms, we can gain genuine knowledge of reality. Further, the theory attempts to explain the relationship between knowledge and opinion. However, it is not a complete solution to the ethical question Plato attempted to solve.
Another essential aspect of Plato’s theory of Forms is the idea that an existence depends on the belief that the Form is an essence. As an essence, a Form cannot be utterly simple. But, this does not mean that Forms are unalterable. For example, if a form is an essence, then the name is not a name. The same is true of its attributes. As a result, the form must have at least two predication relations.
His views on love
Socrates’ view of love focuses on three distinct elements. The object of love must be ‘lovable,’ meaning it must possess certain qualities that cause people to fall in love with it. Loving is a process whereby the lover actively invests value in the object of love. In contrast, many objects are ‘valuable’ in themselves but not ‘loved’ in the special sense.
In Plato’s dialogues, Socrates argues that “love is the best thing to do in life, and in our lives.” The author shows how Socrates achieves this by emphasizing the value of friendship and political community. But despite this evocation of fondness, Nichols does not go beyond the core arguments made by Socrates, as he argues that love can be a virtue in itself.
In the Lysis, Socrates explores different accounts of love and friendship, and in the Apology, he rejects the idea of reciprocal love. In 212c-e, Socrates further exploits philia to imply that love is a higher form of friendship than friendship. But, in the end, he acknowledges that love is a higher form than friendship, and that the two can be understood only through mutually oriented relationships.
After the death of Socrates, Plato’s Academy was the first university and think tank in Athens. There was no tuition or admission fees, and he survived by collecting donations from wealthy parents. Although he did not pursue a career in politics, he saw the ravages of war, especially in the age of democracy. His cousins were killed fighting the ruling oligarchy of Athens, and Socrates was eventually condemned to death on false political charges.
Neither Aristotle nor Plato’s views on love are compatible. Physicalism denies the possibility of romantic or ideational love. Despite this, some Christian translators of Plato incorporated connections between the two. Thus, love can be defined by a variety of behaviors, including friendship and the pursuit of value. In the case of the former, the love of God must be unconditional. But this love must not be confined to the sexual act, as it is based on a physical response.
His views on states and rulers
A thorough study of Plato’s Republic will reveal that the philosopher did not view statehood in a purely representative manner, but rather as a social institution that facilitated the development of human personality. The Republic is a highly persuasive argument, and its focus on the power of states is not limited to political systems, but also to the nature of society. In addition, Plato’s work offers important insights into the philosophic profession as a whole.
As the author of Republic, Plato rejects the concept of political parties and the oligarchic nature of their rule. The philosopher-ruler’s ideal city is a democratic society in which unwise citizens have greater political role than wise ones. His work aims to provide a better environment for the citizens than those of his time. The republic also opposes the idea of totalitarian rule and states.
While Plato did not denounce the institution of slavery, his ideal state is based on the analogy between the individual and the state. The virtues and features of individual and society are essentially the same. The philosopher-rulers should have a broad vision of the unity of knowledge. Furthermore, philosopher-kings are exempt from public opinion or the provisions of law. This makes it difficult to imagine a better utopia.
The Republic’s political take-home lessons are subject to special controversy. Many readers disagree with my interpretation of Socrates’ ideal and defective cities. Others consider the Republic to be a mere ethical theory, and would have better applied itself as a serious political contribution. In addition, they suggest that Plato’s aim was not to give a political contribution, but rather an ethical theory. But there are several ways to interpret Plato’s ideas about statehood and political governance.
The ideal city and state are ruled by those who possess knowledge of goodness. A philosopher, by definition, is an ideal ruler, because he or she knows what is right, and yet does not want to rule. Meanwhile, the existing cities are ruled by people who are ignorant, and they suffer from strife and conflict among citizens. They desire the wrong objects and ultimately achieve political power. Socrates’ views are quite contrary to the view of many modern-day citizens.