Final Exam Review Questions, Philosophy 20A – Part I
What are the Forms, according to Plato’s theory?
How do we come to know
The forms can only be understood through thought, although we are reminded of
them in sensory perception. We must have known the forms from birth. The forms are
eternal, indivisible and unchanging, distinct from the destructible things of the
perceptible world. The forms are justice, beauty, goodness, health, strength. Also says
form of equality (two sticks example).
Explain Plato’s hypothesis according to which the Forms are
some problems with this account of causation?
“I see a different kind of safety, beyond the answer I gave initially, the old safe one.
Thus, if you were to ask me what it is, by whose presence in a body, that body will be
hot, I shan’t give you the old safe, ignorant answer, that it’s heat, but a subtler answer
now available, that it’s fire.
And again, if you ask what it is, by whose presence in a
body, that body will ail, I shan’t say that it’s illness, but fever.” – Plato (Kolak and
Thomson, p.169) The Form of the Good is the
of the World’s Intelligibility
“In the intelligible realm [the Good] is the source and provider of truth and
knowledge.” – Plato
The constant conjunction of events, or phenomena, in our experience affords no
rational basis for thinking that there are such things as causal connections.
imagination imposes patterns on our experience; but this subjective habit of
perception gives us no good reason for thinking that the structure of reality
includes causal connections.
Is what Plato is saying vulnerable to this criticism; or has Plato, in some sense,
Because we as readers know that the puppeteers behind them are using wooden and
iron objects to liken the shadows to
based items and people, the prisoners (unable
to turn their heads) would know nothing else but the shadows, and perceive this as their
own reality. This is an important development to the story because it shows us that what
we perceive as real from
is completely false based on our imperfect interpretations
Once the prisoner is released, he is forced to look upon the fire and objects that once
dictated his perception of reality, and he thus realizes these
images in front of him
are now the accepted forms of reality. Plato describes the vision of the real truth to be
“aching” to the eyes of the prisoners, and how they would naturally be inclined to going
back and viewing what they have always seen as a pleasant and painless acceptance of
truth. This stage of thinking is noted as “belief.” The comfort of the aforementioned
perceived, and the fear of the unrecognized outside world would result in the prisoner
being forced to climb the steep ascent of the cave and step outside into the bright sun.
Once the prisoner climbs out of the