Explain the Relationship Between Plato’s Form of the Good and the Other Forms.

984 Words Sep 19th, 2012 4 Pages
essay by M.J - copy right
a) Explain the relationship between Plato’s Form of the Good and the other Forms.

Plato was a dualist and so believed that human beings consisted of two parts- body and soul. This view is portrayed throughout Plato’s famous theory of the Forms of which he suggests that true substances are not physical bodies, but are the eternal Forms that our bodies are merely the imperfect copy. In his Theory he tells of a World of Forms representing knowledge, which he also names the ‘real’ world and the world of Particulars signifying opinions, the world in which we live in. The Forms come from a world of perfection which are illuminated by the Form of the Good which is at the top of the hierarchy and is the source of
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It is the ultimate Form of goodness and is at the top of the Forms hierarchy; however Plato is adamant that even within this hierarchy, all of the Forms are perfect. The Form of the Good is often referred to as the culmination of understanding reality as it is shown to provide order and intelligibility to the other Forms- meaning it allows us to know the objects rather than just see them. The link of the Form of the Good is explained by Plato as the reason we can recognise things such as beauty or justice as an aspect of Goodness. Even though we have not physically seen any examples of perfect goodness with our senses we have seen plenty of particular examples which share characteristics of goodness, and we recognise them as ‘good’ when we see them because of the way in which they have a link to our instinctive concept of the Form of the Good. This is very important as Plato emphasises that as the Form of the Good is the source of existence for all things, these ideas are present subconsciously in our mind and soul- in a similar way to how we can recognise Particulars as copies of an original Form.

Plato uses the analogy of the cave to express his understanding of the progress of the mind from its lowest stages to an enlightened knowledge of the Good. It accentuates his beliefs about learning and his beliefs about the relation between the world of appearances and the world of Forms. It portrays a

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