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Plato as One of Historys Greatest Contributors - Case Study Example

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This work "Plato as One of History’s Greatest Contributors" describes the importance of Plato's theories regarding metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics.  The author also takes into account arguments against Plato. Through the development of his perfect society in the Republic, Plato offers up his concept of ethics as the pursuit of the greatest good…
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Plato as One of Historys Greatest Contributors
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Download file to see previous pages The term itself derives from an ancient Greek word that translates to “love of wisdom” (Wikipedia, 2005) and it is through several early Greek thinkers that we have arrived at the perceptions we now foster. One of the greatest of these thinkers was Plato, who built off of the ideas of Socrates and others before him and wrote his ideas down in book form for future generations to benefit. His writings have contributed significantly to three main areas of philosophy including metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics. In any of these fields, new work is generally founded upon, or based on, ideas that were first brought forward by Plato more than 2000 years ago. For this reason, it is justified to say that Plato is one of the greatest contributors in the three main areas of philosophy, which are metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics.
It was Plato that blew the doors open on the entire metaphysics question through his easily accessible imagery in his Theory of Forms. Metaphysics, of course, relates to the inner essence of things, the spirit. Through the Theory of Forms, Plato suggests that there is in existence somewhere a perfect ideal of every possible form known to man. According to Plato, the reality is not the world of substance and things that we can see in everyday life but is something more abstract that can only be obtained through intellectual thought (Strathern, 1996, p. 25). In this theory, the ultimate goal was to progress through the levels of reality to the highest level, also known as the greatest good or the ultimate truth. Through this brief description, it can be seen how Plato linked the metaphysical nature of all things, the spiritual or abstract element that comprises the thing, to the concepts of epistemology and ethics as a means of understanding the entire entity rather than a segmented portion of the whole. However, if the original Form from which all things were created already existed in complete perfection within their perfect state and position in relation to all other perfect Forms, then the imperfect creations that were produced from these perfect forms must also have been originally set down in near-perfect states, as near as could be to the original.  Because they are not the original forms and exist in the material plane within the scope of time and space, they are susceptible to change of a variety of sorts.  With each change, they necessarily move further and further away from their originator.  This introduces problems as the truth is sought through these many variations, but Plato proposes these can be discovered when seen in the proper light. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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