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Plato1 - Plato Metaphysics and Epistemology Plato's...

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Plato Metaphysics and Epistemology Plato's metaphysics and epistemology are best summarized by his device of the divided line. Objects Modes of Thought The Forms Knowledge Mathematical objects Thinking Things Belief /Opinion Images Imaging Here we have a hierarchy of Modes of Thought, or types of mental representational states, with the highest being knowledge of the forms and the lowest being imaging (in the literal sense of forming images in the mind). Corresponding to these degrees of knowledge we have degrees of reality. The less real includes the physical world and our representations of it in art. The more real we encounter as we inquire into the universal natures of the various kinds of things and processes we encounter. According to Plato, the most real objects of knowledge are his Forms, his abstract, idealized properties. In saying that the forms are abstract, we are saying that while they do exist, they do not exist in space and time. They are ideals in the sense that a form, say the form of horse-ness, is the
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