Plato Plato's ultimate answer to the sort of question Socrates asked, what makes a kind of thing the kind of thing it is, was that the ôform itselfö does so, and that the form is something different from the thing, having an eternal existence on its own. Thus beautiful things are beautiful because they partake of beauty itself, and just acts are just insofar as they partake of justice itself, and so forth. The highest form was that of the good. In the Republic, Plato undertook to describe this form through two famous analogies, that of the line and that of the cave. The analogy of the line has to do with the theory of knowledge. Plato recognized that knowledge is better than opinion. If Euthyphro was to know what piety is, he must know it through the form, which can only be thought and not sensed. Thus knowledge belongs to an invisible, intangible, insensible world of the intellect, while of the visible, tangible, sensible world we have only opinion. The intelligible world is more real and true than the sensible world, as well as being more distinct. Suppose we say in the abstract that there is some proportion of reality, truth and distinctness between the
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This note was uploaded on 01/31/2011 for the course PHILOSOPHY 102 taught by Professor Markelwin during the Winter '10 term at UC Davis.