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Plato Philosophy Through the Centuries BRENT SILBY Unlimited (UPT)

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Presentation on theme: "Plato Philosophy Through the Centuries BRENT SILBY Unlimited (UPT)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Plato Philosophy Through the Centuries BRENT SILBY Unlimited (UPT)

2 What is Philosophy? 3 main areas in Philosophy Epistemology Metaphysics Ethics How do we know it is cloudy outside? Does rain exist? Do atoms exist? Does God exist? Is abortion morally wrong? Is eating meat wrong?

3 What is Philosophy? More examples of questions: What is God? Does God exist? How do we know God exists? What is the mind? What is human nature? We can answer “ what is a car? ” by pointing to instances of cars. Another option is to give a “ definition ” of the thing in question. For example: What is a square? This is geometric figure that has four equal lengths attached at right angles.

4 What is Philosophy? What is “ goodness ” ? This is a motivating factor in many actions, but what is it? What does it mean to say that something is good?

5 Plato (428 BC BC) Lived during time when Athens was at war. There was internal strife, political murders etc. Plato followed Socrates in devoting his life to philosophy. Socrates had been put to death because he questions politicians about justice and goodness. These were questions they couldn ’ t answer so they killed him.

6 Plato (428 BC BC) Plato devoted his philosophy to 3 major questions: 1What is real? What sorts of things are real? 2How do we get access to knowledge about reality? Is it through sense perception? 3What is good? Is it things associated with body, eg feeling good, money?

7 Plato ’ s world view There are 2 realms of existence 1The world of “ Flux (change) ” This is the world that we see. Plato thought the world around us was in a constant state of change. There is nothing permanent in this world. 2The world of “ Forms ” This is an unchanging world. Plato thought that there is a stable world that we don ’ t directly see. It exists outside of space and time. This world contains perfect examples of the imperfect things we see in this world. The form of the table is the “ essence ” of what a table is. For Plato, the realm of Forms is REAL and this world of Change contains objects that are imperfect reflections of the Forms--like looking at a reflection in rippled water.

8 Here ’ s a question for Plato… If the realm of Forms is outside space/time, then how can anyone know that they exist? Plato can answer: “ Through reason and rational argumentation ”

9 Argument from Recollection P1: We can compare one thing with another P2: We can only compare 2 objects if we have experience of both objects P3: We can see that there are no perfect circles in the world

10 Argument from Recollection P4: We know circles are not perfect because we compare them with what we know perfect circles should be like Therefore: We have experience of perfect circles P5: If there are no perfect circles in the world, we must have gained experience of perfect circles in another realm. P6: The realm that contains perfect circles is the realm of Forms Therefore, we have (before our birth) existed in the realm of Forms P1: We can compare one thing with another P2: We can only compare 2 objects if we have experience of both objects P3: We can see that there are no perfect circles in the world

11 Is the argument valid? An argument is valid if the conclusion is GUARANTEED by the premises. Is the argument sound? An argument is sound if it is valid AND the premises are TRUE. Are there any other reasons why we recognize that circles are not perfect? Does the argument work with everything? Think of other things to plug in to argument. Think of abstract things like “ Equals ”.

12 Plato ’ s analogy of the cave. This describes where we are in relation to the realm of forms DRAW ON BOARD… We are chained up inside a cave. We can only look at shadows on the wall. Behind us is a fire and beyond that, the entrance to the cave. Our view of reality is filtered as if we are watching shadows of objects passing in front of the fire. Outside the cave is the Sun (The GOOD), and all of the forms. The forms are the perfect examples of the things we see on the cave wall. Plato believed that with enough philosophy, we can unlock ourselves and move out to witness the Forms.

13 Video of Plato’s Analogy of the Cave

14 Students, discuss Plato in groups of 4 Discussion points: How can we know that there is a world of Forms? Can you think of anything wrong with Plato ’ s argument? How does Plato ’ s theory relate to other theories, or religion? Make notes.

15 Powerpoint by BRENT SILBY Produced at UPT Christchurch, New Zealand


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