Plato's Theory of the Forms

Plato's Theory of the Forms

Plato Worksheet (P4) and Reading:

Give a critical account of Plato’s arguments for the existence of the forms.

Plato’s argument for the existence of the forms is put through his character of Socrates and his argument of immortality. It would appear that Plato and Socrates disagree in as far as the certainty of the soul and immortality. The theory of the forms was intended to solve the ethical and permanence problems put before it, however, there have been various criticisms of this.

The mind/body problem has posed many questions to Plato’s theory as there is a problem with complete separation. If Socrates believes the mind and the body are completely separate, how do they interact at all? How do they work in sync with one another? The opposition of this argument is of course that they are connected but that still leaves us with the question of death and when the body dies, does part of the soul die with it? One possible answer to this depends upon Descartes philosophy as he provides the connection between the two. Descartes believed the pineal gland provided the answer to the question of separation between the mind and the body as he stated it was here that the principle seat of the soul can be found and where all our thoughts are formed. According to his last book The passions of the soul (1649), this principle seat of the soul is suspended within the cavities so it can be moved by the spirits and by the soul in many different ways so in this way, the spirits make the gland move the limbs. This suggests that the idea of immortality depends on how the body and soul are connected. This can also be reinforced by the idea that the soul is sensual and is in fact shown through the body but through individual personality rather than the movement of the limbs. However, this also shows that once the body dies, an essential part of our soul must die with it.

The Phaedo includes an account of Socrates in prison before he takes the poison and shows him facing...

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