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Flashcards in plato Deck (50)
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what did plato believe?

that there was a greater reality beyond the world that we experience


what is a priori knowledge?

knowledge which is not dependent on experience 'prior' to experience.


summaries the Cave Analogy

- a group of prisoners chained up in an underground cave
-all they can see are shadows which as projected on the walls by a fire
-they believe that the shadows are all that exists
-if one was to escape to the outside of the cave they would discover a a world that was real and realise that the shadows were only shadows of the real world
-in attempt to pass on his knowledge to other prisoners he would not be believed- they may threaten to kill him.


who are the prisoners in the analogy?

ordinary people in our world


what is the cave in the analogy?

the empirical world that we see and hear around us


what are the chains in the analogy?

the senses that restrict the way we experience things


what are the shadows in the analogy?

our everyday sense experiences


what does the escape in the analogy represent?

a philosopher who can access knowledge


what does the difficult ascent represent in the analogy?

the difficulty gaining philosophical knowledge


what does the outside world represent in the analogy?

the real world. the world of the forms


what does the sun represent in the analogy?

the highest of all the forms, the form of the good


what does the return to the cave symbolise?

the philosopher once enlightened feels it is his duty to free and educate others


what does the difficulty in adjusting to the darkness represent in the analogy?

once the philosopher knows the truth it is difficult to experience the things that an ordinary person does


what does the persecution given by other prisoners represent?

like secretes, who was executed by the leaders of Athens, this philosopher will be ridiculed and threatened.


metaphysics- in terms of Plato's conclusions. (what is real)

this world is not real. the real world is unchanging, this is the case in the world of the forms


epistemology- in terms of Plato's conclusions. (how do we gain knowledge?)

knowledge is gained through the mind (a priori)


what is a posteriori knowledge?

knowledge gained through sense experience


politics- in terms of plato's conclusions (who should rule?)

philosophers should. they are the only ones who have knowledge. democracy put power into the hands of the majority who lack knowledge,(like the people in the cave)


(issues with the cave) leadership

why should philosopher rule in the world of 'shadows' if they have knowledge of the world of the forms?
is deeper thought necessary?


(issues with the cave) survival

we need our senses in order to survive though they may not always be reliable


(issues with the cave) proof

plato offers no evidence that another realm exists, and he is unclear of how the two realms relate to each other


(issues with the cave) elitism

the philosopher is not that different from any other normal person. having two groups of people- those who have knowledge and those who are ignorant, is too simplistic.


define 'forms'

the name Plato gives to ideal concepts that exist in reality


define 'particulars'/ 'phenomina'

the name that Plato gives to the objects in the empirical world which are imperfect copies of the form


what are unchanging, timeless and meta-physical ?

the world of the forms


how are the forms known?

through intellect and reason(only through the mind)


inane knowledge

our knowledge of the forms is innate- we are born with it


what term describes recollecting a priori knowledge



what do the forms have in common?



why are forms perfect

they come from the form of the good