Iqra_hussain216
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I don’t really understand the form of good and what it actually is and whether it is available in our world or in the upper world?
And I don’t understand Plato’s forms as in a simple definition of what he meant?
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kayleighannbanks
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Plato is unable to tell us what the form of the good is, but he does tell us that it is the source of the intelligibility that is responsible for bringing all other Forms together. All of the Forms are good; the universal truths are beauty, truth, jusice and good and what they all have in common is that theyre all goodhope this helped
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Iqra_hussain216
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And are all of these only within the higher form and now this physical world? Because even if this world isn’t ‘enlightened’ there is at least some good in this world?
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KBazza01
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(Original post by Iqra_hussain216)
And are all of these only within the higher form and now this physical world? Because even if this world isn’t ‘enlightened’ there is at least some good in this world?
There are higher and lower forms (higher being concepts such as truth, beauty, etc., and lower being the “perfect” form of each object) which are in the realm of the forms because they are unchanging while this world constantly changes. The form of the good is above all other forms because it “enlightens” the other forms but you need to reflect on the form of the good in order to gain knowledge of it and to know what is good for yourself.

So while there is good in this world it is not because the form of the good is in this world - it is because we are able to reflect on the form of the good through anamnesis (recollection of the form of the good from when our soul was in the realm of the forms).

Hope this made sense somewhat!
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Iqra_hussain216
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Ohhh I get that! Thank you so much!
So because our souls existed beforehand, where the saw the perfection of the realm of the forms we’re able to understand goodness in a sense?
But couldn’t you argue that psychopaths in a sense didn’t receive a soul from the realm of the forms and couldn’t the goodness we know of be present because of our path to being accepted in to society rather than it being from our souls?
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KBazza01
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(Original post by Iqra_hussain216)
Ohhh I get that! Thank you so much!
So because our souls existed beforehand, where the saw the perfection of the realm of the forms we’re able to understand goodness in a sense?
But couldn’t you argue that psychopaths in a sense didn’t receive a soul from the realm of the forms and couldn’t the goodness we know of be present because of our path to being accepted in to society rather than it being from our souls?
In a sense yeah - the objects and concepts of this world are simply imitations of the perfect forms. The form of the good helps us to think about the forms by “enlightening” us just as the sun can help us to see with its light. If we reflect on the form of the good and recollect knowledge of it, then we gain knowledge of what is good in our own reality.

“bad” people simply have less knowledge of/are ignorant of the form of the good and so do not do good as philosophers who have reflected on the forms may do. Everyone has a soul but some people are worse than others because they have less knowledge of the form of the good. (Maybe mental illness is a block to us understanding the form of the good?)

We all go on a difficult intellectual journey of gaining knowledge of the forms just like the philosopher in the simile of the cave. You could maybe argue that this could symbolise a struggle in life we have to go through, eg with evil and suffering in the world.

Plato argues more for a soul but you could take it as somewhat symbolic of a struggle.
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Iqra_hussain216
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Could the analogy of the cave perhaps not be representative of reality today in a way? Since the caves presented as almost gloomy and dark and represents the lack of knowledge that the prisoners have in that moment but now, even though most people aren’t enlightened to true philosophy, we don’t live in complete gloom. I get how it allows us to understand how us as ignorant beings at times fail to look at things in another light and just see things as they are but does it truly represent today?
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KBazza01
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(Original post by Iqra_hussain216)
Could the analogy of the cave perhaps not be representative of reality today in a way? Since the caves presented as almost gloomy and dark and represents the lack of knowledge that the prisoners have in that moment but now, even though most people aren’t enlightened to true philosophy, we don’t live in complete gloom. I get how it allows us to understand how us as ignorant beings at times fail to look at things in another light and just see things as they are but does it truly represent today?
It could represent today, but it also could not.

If you’re taking it as a metaphor, then it can, because it represents how we are content in living in our eikasia (content ignorance) without fully intellectually stimulating ourselves and questioning the world around us. We are the prisoners, the people on the walkway could be politicians and the media, or even teachers as they are simply telling us the facts rather than allowing us to think and reflect independently. We seem happy, like the prisoners, to stay shackled in ignorance.

However, at the same time, Plato had a very different meaning for reality - he thought that the “real” reality was in the realm of the forms, rather than the world that we live in, and that our body is trapping our soul from gaining perfect knowledge in the realm of the forms, as we are bound by earthly needs and desires rather than always being able to think. Therefore, you have Aristotle’s objections about living and investigating the world in which we live in, a criticism of Plato trying to find certainty in an uncertain world, etc.

So literally, there is a lot of problems with Plato’s theory applying to reality because very few people would believe it now taken literally. However metaphorically it could say a lot more about the state of the world we live in and how we need to be the philosopher in the story who goes on a hard journey of gaining true knowledge rather than remaining content with our current lives.
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Iqra_hussain216
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That’s so true.
But if Plato is so confident in the fact that there is a realm with true beauty and not the beauty we claim to see, why would he be convinced in there being a Demiurge crafting shapeless material if that material wasn’t going to be perfect anyway? Like what is the point of Demiurge if Plato’s already content by the higher form?
Sorry if I’m asking so many questions, I’m quite new to learning about philosophy and just find it really interesting finding out more about it but thank you so much for sharing your knowledge of it.
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KBazza01
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(Original post by Iqra_hussain216)
That’s so true.
But if Plato is so confident in the fact that there is a realm with true beauty and not the beauty we claim to see, why would he be convinced in there being a Demiurge crafting shapeless material if that material wasn’t going to be perfect anyway? Like what is the point of Demiurge if Plato’s already content by the higher form?
Sorry if I’m asking so many questions, I’m quite new to learning about philosophy and just find it really interesting finding out more about it but thank you so much for sharing your knowledge of it.
It’s no problem at all

The Demiurge is more an explanation of how things were created for Plato - this own world rather than the realm of the forms. The Demiurge is impersonal and creates out of what is available essentially - the material is not perfect which is why the world isn’t perfect (although you raise a good point of why Plato even ponders this if he focuses more on the “other reality”). It’s basically just a way of explaining creation for Plato. I guess if the Demiurge wasn’t there then nothing would exist and so we wouldn’t be able to ponder on the forms as we can do in life? We wouldn’t be able to live this current life without the Demiurge being the creator. However it is debatable whether Plato would even mind this since he places a greater emphasis on the soul and realm of the forms than the body and the material world.

The Demiurge just created everything - it isn’t like the God we know who is more personal, it just creates out of existing matter.
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Iqra_hussain216
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So it’s kind of similar to the Prime mover because both seem really impersonal but I assumed that the Demiurge wants the best for everyone whilst the Prime mover is mainly concerned in being a source of attraction of everything.
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KBazza01
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(Original post by Iqra_hussain216)
So it’s kind of similar to the Prime mover because both seem really impersonal but I assumed that the Demiurge wants the best for everyone whilst the Prime mover is mainly concerned in being a source of attraction of everything.
Nah both have the same problem - that they both seem to be the “god of the philosophers” to explain how things were created. The Demiurge simply created everything out of existing matter, while the prime mover keeps everything in constant motion, and everything is attracted to it. They’re both different to how we perceive God - they do not interact with their creation, they’re impersonal.
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Iqra_hussain216
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Ohh thank you so much for the help! It’s much appreciated!
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