Plato’s Metaphysics -|- Educational Philosophy Theory

Plato’s Metaphysics

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n created a unified system covering all areas of human thought

Doctrine of the Forms:

n recognized change in the material world of particulars

n preserved stability in the immaterial world of universal Forms

n Forms = principles of permanence, eternity, reality, unity, perfection,etc.

n the soul journeys from appearance to reality

n the Cave Allegory is symbolic, the Divided Line tells what it represents

Allegory of the Cave

Divided Line

* The Sun *

* The Good *

4. objects outside the cave

4. the immaterial forms [reason]

3. shadows, reflections outside the cave

3. mathematical images [understanding]

2. objects on the roadway and fire

2. material objects in the world [belief]

1. shadows on the cave’s wall

1. images, shadows in the world [conjecture]

n for Plato, level 4 is “the real”, knowledge

n levels 2 and 3 are hypotheses, definitions, “jumping off points” to the real

n levels 1 and 2 are sense appearances, or opinions

n doctrine of participation - material things share in the likeness of the forms

n all the forms are united in the form of the Good (a principle of unity)

n eros - the human love or spiritual desire which causes man to want to know the forms and the good

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