Plato and Forms

Plato, all along his work, has developed a whole theory of Forms (Ideas). Plato asserts the forms are the true reality, that which derives from the being of things in the world. Our thinking involves a level that does not come from experience, but that will influence our perception of experience. Experience in fact does not allow us to achieve the absolute ideas. Our knowledge of ideas comes from what Plato called “reminiscence”. According to Plato, the soul loses at birth the clear recollection of Ideas. The “I know I know nothing” by Socrates is thus an “I know I have forgotten” in Plato’s theory, where the true knowledge exists at the level of ideas.

What is a intelligible form ?

The idea, or form (translated from the Greek eidos) is:

• a invisible reality(it is perceived by an intuition of the mind);

• an immaterial and eternal thing;

• a prototype of the reality.

Plato is an idealistic: the metaphysical realism is to support the thesis of the existence of archetypes or forms outside and independent of us, archetypes that serve as models for the things of the sensible world, to become. It is these forms that constitute the reality of all things, their essence through which we can think of, allowing science to have a foundation stone. The things of the sensible world in continuous change, participating in these archetypes, they receive the name. But the very intelligibility of forms is received from a reality that Plato is beyond being, and that is good, like the sun. It is this metaphysical world in which the philosopher seeks and must seek to contemplate and to know as much as its mixed (mind and body) it can achieve, to stay until after the death.


Cite this article as: Tim, "Plato and Forms, April 8, 2012, " in Philosophy & Philosophers, April 8, 2012,

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