PlatoSunLineCave - Plato The Republic Knowledge and the...

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Plato, The Republic Knowledge and the Good
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The Parts of the Soul and the City Part of the Soul Class in the City Charact. Virtue Charact. Desire Reason Rulers Wisdom Love of Knowledge Spirit Guardians Courage Love of Honor Appetite Workers Moderation Love of Wealth
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The Nature of a Just Soul In a just soul, each of the three parts of the soul - reason, spirited desire, and appetite - plays its proper part: (1) Reason knows how one should act and be. (2) Spirited desire pushes one to act in this way (through her emotions). (3) Appetite ensures that one satisfies one’s natural needs - but only within the limits set by reason and spirited desire.
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Knowledge of the Forms But what does reason’s knowledge involve? What is it to know the good ? To answer this question we need to consider Plato’s theory of knowledge – i.e. why he believes that only reason can achieve real knowledge. This brings us to Plato’s claim that reason has knowledge of a special sort of object - knowledge of the forms .
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What are the Forms? Consider the difference between a particular object of some kind and that kind itself. I.e. the difference between a particular triangle and the property of being a triangle. Forms are objects of the latter sort. They are universal patterns or structures that have particular instances in the sensible world of ordinary objects. For Plato, these forms explain why individual things have the qualities they do.
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1st Argument for the Forms (1) If I know something then I cannot be mistaken about it. (E.g., If I know that water boils at 100C,
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