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Monday, 10 September 2012

3 minute philosophy - #plato

in summary

- he was greek and alive around 300 BC

- he conveyed his ideas via stories - sometimes about philosophers at a party

- central part of what he though is the "theory of forms" which he illustrates via the cave analogy

- the world in which we live is similar to living inside a cave and only seeing the shadows of real objects on the wall whilst the actual complete objects outside the cave were invisible

for plato every concept - whether material or abstract - had a true perfect form floating around there whilst we couldn't see it we could remember seeing it

so everyone is born with all the knowledge in the universe and learning is actually remembering

- so everything we think we know about - e.g. love - is in fact a half remembered shadow of the true concept of love which we knew about before we were born but have forgotten about

- he hated democracy (maybe because society had voted to poison his mentor socrates)

 - and partly because people have a tendency to vote for the biggest jerks

- he believed you could divide the human soul into three virtues - wisdom, courage and moderation

- and as he believed the state can have the features of an individual - just on a larger scale

- so he thought the state could be divided into 3 parts - the rules, the police and the workers (in his perfect society the rulers were the philosophers and society should be run by a commune of such)

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