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Old 10-27-2016, 11:22 AM
 
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Schopenhauer wrote it is not a lion but leonitas in his explanation of Plato's Idea. I understand what Schopenhauer meant to a certain extent but maybe someone has a more detailed explanation of Plato's Idea. Understanding Plato's Idea is essential to understanding Plato's philosophy because his whole philosophy is based upon his theory of the Idea. Maybe someone knows of a book or article or something that can explain it more deeply.
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Old 10-27-2016, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Whittier
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Platonic ideas (or forms) are basically the literal idea of an object, for example.

When you think of a chair, what do you picture in your mind? An object with a base a back and 4 legs. Plato believed that every object had this sort of Ideal or Form outside of the mind and essentially beyond the physical realm; that a circle or idea of a perfect circle would always exist outside of time and space.

People then often refer to chair-ness, and then the function of the chair (to sit), often referred as Chair qua chair.

Plato's Allegory of the Cave covers this as well at this wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_Forms
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Old 10-27-2016, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Fortaleza, Brazil
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Do you understand something about computer programming?

The Platonic Ideas are like Classes in programming.

Just like in programming each particular "object" in the code is an "instance" of some "class", in Platonic idealism each real object that exists in the real world is an "instance" of an Idea.

Something like that.
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Old 10-27-2016, 05:45 PM
 
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"He supposed that the object was essentially or "really" the Form and that the phenomena were mere shadows mimicking the Form; that is, momentary portrayals of the Form under different circumstances... A Form is aspatial (transcendent to space) and atemporal (transcendent to time). "

To Plato, form/ideas are more real and eternal (non-changing) than the diverse & changing objects that represent those ideas. To me, this hints at the idea that the universe is conscious-based and that before everything is created physically, it is created mentally - envisioned.
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Old 11-01-2016, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperSoul View Post
To me, this hints at the idea that the universe is conscious-based and that before everything is created physically, it is created mentally - envisioned.
Plato appears to be suggesting not that forms are thought into existence, but rather are eternal and discovered. He is arguing that they exist apart from the different implementations we make of them, and if they are eternal as he says, then they pre-exist thought.

Even if they are "proto-thoughts" waiting for sentience to resonate with them, that has inauspicious implications for free will, creativity, etc. It suggests that no one ever has an original thought, though I guess it leaves room to put unoriginal thoughts together in original ways. Always assuming, of course, that even configurations of forms don't themselves preexist as meta-forms.

I don't really buy Platonism, or idealism for that matter. I used to be an idealist, and I truly wish that ideals were universal and eternal and attainable, but I can't see that they are any of those things. My ideals were not eternal forms I had discovered or been drawn to, they were illusory perfectionistic abstractions of my own making. I have in fact discovered a number of them to be completely bogus, and reality to be way different than I conceptualized it at first.

Funny how ideals are always subjectively perfect realizations for the idealist, and never displease the idealist. That should tell us something right there. The odds of everyone finding 100% of the same hypothetical reality attractive are basically nil. Even the odds of one person finding 100% of their own reality attractive is negligible unless you believe the notion that you're purpose-built for your reality. So idealism should be confined to the ideal of having as much data as possible and the best understanding of it, not dreaming about your own notions of perfection and chasing mythical "perfect forms" that just happen to conveniently align with those notions.
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Old 11-03-2016, 11:31 PM
 
Location: Nanaimo, Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
Plato appears to be suggesting not that forms are thought into existence, but rather are eternal and discovered. He is arguing that they exist apart from the different implementations we make of them, and if they are eternal as he says, then they pre-exist thought.
Plato was speaking more specifically: that an item has a 'ideal' form ('the' table, or 'the' chair) and anything that we create is simply an embodiment of that ideal form. We can never create the 'the' chair; we can only create 'a' chair, that resembles the 'ideal'.

When Spoon-boy tells Neo 'there is no spoon', and that it's not the spoon that bends, but 'only [himself]', he's attempting to help Neo realize that changing the spoon's 'ideal' form is impossible, because then it would not be an 'ideal' form.
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Old 11-05-2016, 02:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mordant View Post
So idealism should be confined to the ideal of having as much data as possible and the best understanding of it, not dreaming about your own notions of perfection and chasing mythical "perfect forms" that just happen to conveniently align with those notions.
I agree, though like Aristotle suggested, there's a good balance between extremes.
All thoughts/ideals are illusional - subjectively limited. You need "functional illusions" to motivate you to go further than you would without such inspiration, however you can't ignore the facts without reality coming back to bite you.
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Old 11-05-2016, 02:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by FredNotBob View Post
Plato was speaking more specifically: that an item has a 'ideal' form ('the' table, or 'the' chair) and anything that we create is simply an embodiment of that ideal form. We can never create the 'the' chair; we can only create 'a' chair, that resembles the 'ideal'.

When Spoon-boy tells Neo 'there is no spoon', and that it's not the spoon that bends, but 'only [himself]', he's attempting to help Neo realize that changing the spoon's 'ideal' form is impossible, because then it would not be an 'ideal' form.
This part of Plato's ideas if taken a certain direction, is what I like - the idea of symbolism.

If this idea could be applied (by leaders or people in power) to humanity, there would be more flexible tolerance for other ways of doing things. Just as a cup may look very different and even be made of different material, but the essence is something that can hold liquid etc. Comparatively, human beings may look different, have different religious or political backgrounds, but the essence of being human is that we are all born and will someday die, we have hopes, fears and other feelings and we strive in our own capacities to do what we think is best - we all try through trial and error.
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