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Plato and Aristotle MUST – Explain Plato’s Cave allegory and Theory of Forms. SHOULD – Evaluate Plato using Aristotle. COULD – Defend and challenge Aristotle’s.

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Presentation on theme: "Plato and Aristotle MUST – Explain Plato’s Cave allegory and Theory of Forms. SHOULD – Evaluate Plato using Aristotle. COULD – Defend and challenge Aristotle’s."— Presentation transcript:

1 Plato and Aristotle MUST – Explain Plato’s Cave allegory and Theory of Forms. SHOULD – Evaluate Plato using Aristotle. COULD – Defend and challenge Aristotle’s Prime Mover theory using arguments against the Cosmological Argument.

2 Plato – Inspirations  Socrates  “True knowledge (episteme) comes from knowing that you know nothing.”  What is “The Good”?  Socrates was executed for his beliefs and understanding if reality.  Pythagoras  Pythagoras believed in immortality, religion, mysticism and the objectivity of mathematics.  Maths existed abstractly.  Parmenides  This world is changing and temporal.  Reality is eternal, unchanging and timeless.  Heraclitus  There is nothing permanent in the physical world – through our senses.  Doxa can give you no true knowledge.

3 Plato – Cave allegory

4 Plato – Symbols  Prisoners – Human beings trapped in the temporal world.  Shadows – The experiences we receive in this spacio temporal world – shadows of the truth.  Puppets – The Forms which cause the shadows that we experience – true knowledge.  Free prisoner – The philosopher who does not at first understanding reality and will eventually be killed for his beliefs.  The Sun – The essential Form of Goodness – source of the Forms and truth

5 Plato – The Sun  Visible World – The Sun  Source of growth and light which gives: Visibility to the objects of sense and The power of seeing to the eye The faculty of sight  Intelligible world of the forms – The Good  Source of reality and truth which gives: Intelligibility to objects of thought and The power of knowing to the mind The faculty of knowledge Plotonius (3 rd C) associated the EFG with God!

6 Plato – Forms Look, different trees!

7 Plato – Forms The true essence of trees Ahh … these are all poor imitations – mere shadows – of the true essence of tree.

8 Plato – Forms  Ephemeral Vs Eternal  We live in an ephemeral (spacio temporal) world  Our world changes and decays.  Copies and Forms  Everything we experience (doxa) is a decaying copy of an ideal form existing outside of time and space.  We encounter MANY copies through experience.  They are all copies of ONE Form we can recognise through reason.  Recognition  We never learn new things when we identify the forms.  We recognise what we already know from a previous existence.  We remember beauty when we see it in the visible world.  The physical world is an illusion … there is no spoon!

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10 Plato – Forms  1. Transcendent  The forms are not located in space and time.  2. Pure  The forms only exemplify one property, e.g. blackness, circularity  3. Archetypes  The forms are archetypes, they are perfect examples of the property that they exemplify.  4. Ultimately Real  The forms are the ultimately real entities, not material objects.  5. Causes  (1) They provide the explanation of why any thing is the way it is, and  (2) they are the source or origin of the being of all things.  6. Systematically Interconnected  The forms comprise a dialectic process leading down from the form of the Good moving from more general to more particular, from more objective to more subjective.

11 Plato – Forms  The Forms are perfect  The Forms are unchanging  The Forms exist eternally  The Forms are abstract  The Forms can be encountered when we are in the eternal world between ephemeral lives  The Forms are reflected in the ephemeral world  The Essential Form of the Good illuminates the Forms  The Essential Form of the Good manifests the Forms in the eternal world.  The Essential Form of the Good enables us to recognise the Forms (justice etc) in the ephemeral world  Plato never fully explained what Forms existed, he was focussing on the Forms of ideals like justice and beauty.

12 Plato – Criticisms  Relation – Aristotle questioned the causal relationship between Plato’s Forms and things we encounter.  Dualism – Aristotle rejected dualism (body and soul) which Plato needs for the Forms to exist.  Third Man – Aristotle argued that if man had a Form, that Form has a Form back to infinity. This makes no sense.  Absolute Morality – If there are Forms of justice etc, is there absolute morality?  Plausibility – Is it realistic to assume that we all know all the Forms already?  Memes – Dawkins argued that ideas we have of justice etc are just memes that survive.  Infinite Forms – Plato never fully explains what there are Forms for, deodorant cans? One legged pirates etc?

13 Aristotle – Form and Matter  Form  Aristotle believed that the Form of a thing was not an abstract entity but rather that which is common to all examples of things. These things are all legged platforms you can sit on, so they are the Form of Chair. The wax stamp can be defined as: Wax [MATTER] and Coat of Arms [FORM]  Matter and Form  All substances are composed of matter and form: What the thing is made of: carbon, hydrogen etc. What the thing is made to be: rock, human, planet etc. Aristotle would argue that the Form of a human is the soul.

14 Aristotle – Four Causes  Episteme  Aristotle believed that episteme came from experience.  Four Causes  All things have four causes: Material Cause – Matter: What it is made of. Formal Cause – Essence: What it made to be. Efficient Cause – Agent: What caused it to be. Final Cause – Purpose: What it is meant to accomplish.

15 Aristotle – Good and Bad  Good and Bad  Good and bad are judged by the object’s ability to fulfil its final cause, not by any ‘moral’ association to its intended purpose. A gun is GOOD if it is successful in firing a bullet irrespective of what it is being fired at. An oven is GOOD if it is successful in heating up, irrespective of what it is heating up.  Soul  The soul of the thing is its Form The soul of the stamp is the symbol. The soul of the human is his character.

16 Aristotle – Prime Mover  Motion  Everything that exists is in a permanent state of ‘movement’ or ‘motion’ – change. 1. The physical world was in a constant state of motion and change. 2. The planets seemed to be moving eternally 3. Objects or motion is always caused by something else. 4. Objects in the physical world were in a state of actuality and potentiality.  Prime Motion  Everything is in an ‘actual’ state with the ‘potential’ to become another state – An actual cow in a field is potentially a piece of roast beef! P1. If things come into existence they must be caused to exist by something else. P2. If something is capable of change that means it is potentially something else. C. There must be something that is the cause of ongoing motion in the universe  Prime Mover  Prime Mover  Aristotle postulated that there was a Prime Mover that was itself ‘unmoved’.  The Prime Mover could not be in a potential state as it would need another mover to act upon it, it would not be the ‘P rime Mover’, but yet another ‘mover’.  The Prime Mover must be an actual state that moves all things.

17 Aristotle – Prime Mover  Characteristics of the Prime Mover 1. Necessary– it cannot not exist. 2. Actuality – Unchanging means it cannot be potentially anything. 3. Good – the lack of goodness means potential to do better. 4. Final Cause – the ultimate explanation for why things exist. 5. Origin of all movement, e.g. the action of being moved. 6. God – [God is] a living being, eternal, most good, so that life and duration continuous and eternal belong to God; for this is God. Aristotle, Metaphysics  Characteristics of God, the Prime Mover 1. Indivisible – divine simplicity. 2. Complete reality – the cause of all that is. 3. Constantly thinking – Therefore it must be of itself that the divine thought thinks (since it is the most excellent of things. Aristotle, Metaphysics. 4. Transcendent – God does not interact in any way with the world. 5. Impersonal – God is pure Goodness and Thought, not a person.


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