1. Chose one of the elements defended by the pre-Socratics philosophers
(water, fire, numbers, and so on) and argue for it as well as you can. Then think of some objections that might be raised against your argument. For example, if you choose fire, an immediate objection would be that fire could not possibly be the essential element in cold objects—a block of ice, for example. A reply might be that cold objects simply contain much less fire than hot things. You might also argue that not all fire manifests itself as flame, and soon, no doubt, you will find yourself moving into more modern-day talk about energy instead of fire as such. The point of the exercise is (1) to see how very much alive we can still make these ancient theories in our own terms and (2) to show how any theory, if it has even the slightest initial plausibility, can be defended, at least to some extent, if only you are clever enough to figure out how to answer the various objections presented to you and modify your theory to meet them.
2. Describe the Form of some ordinary objects around you, in accordance with Plato's theory. How do you know whether an object is defined by one Form or another? What can you say about the Form of an ordinary object, in the fashion of Plato's discussion of the Form of triangle? If an object changes, does it change Forms as well? Can an object have conflicting Forms? Can we understand our recognition of objects without some conception of Forms to explain how it is that we recognize them?
303,122 students got unstuck by Course
Hero in the last week
Our Expert Tutors provide step by step solutions to help you excel in your courses