What concept did Plato have of reality?

Plato: Ideas as archetypes of reality

Who was Plato's teacher?

In 427 BC. Born in Athens, Plato had been a student of the philosopher Socrates for eight years, whom he later described in a letter as "the most righteous man of that time." The fact that Plato had to witness how Socrates was sentenced to death by the Athenian elite in a show trial shaped his own philosophizing in two ways. On the one hand, Plato created a lasting memory for his teacher, who himself had left nothing in writing, by having Socrates appear as the most important interlocutor in almost all of his own works, which are written in the form of dialogues. On the other hand, for Plato, the fate of Socrates was proof that the rulers would only have to learn from the philosophers what true justice consists of.

What is the famous allegory of the cave about?

With this, Plato wants to show that the real truth cannot be found in the realm of things that can be sensually experienced. He compares the situation of people with slaves who lie tied up in a cave from birth and cannot turn their heads. If there was a fire behind the prisoners and objects were carried by between them and the bound ones, which cast their shadows on the wall that is only visible to the cave inmates, then these poor people would inevitably have to hold the shadows for reality. It is the same with people in the material world.

What does the theory of ideas mean?

The terms with which we name the objects of material reality do not describe them exactly. They actually refer to supersensible pure "ideas" which provide the archetypes for our conceptual images. And for Plato the perceptible things of the world of the senses are in some way manifestations of these ideas and are derived from them. Wherever we can name a number of individual things by the same name, we have an underlying idea to assume.

How do people know about the realm of ideas?

Plato thinks that in a prenatal existence of our souls we have already looked at the ideas. True knowledge is therefore a recall (anamnesis) of this earlier vision of ideas. The prerequisite for this, however, is that the soul breaks free from the sensual world, a laborious task that is often perceived as painful. For Plato, the fact that man tackles them anyway is due to eros, a kind of inner urge that inspires people and makes them strive for the true, good and beautiful, the highest ideas of all.

According to Plato, how do you become happy?

By the soul aligning its actions with the ideas. So she controls her own instincts like a charioteer over harnessed horses. For Plato, this order of the soul is also the model for the coexistence of people in the state. The virtue of justice is realized when people exercise their prevailing virtues in a regulated manner. The peasants and artisans are to fulfill the virtue of obedience, the warriors the virtue of bravery, the rulers guide everything with wisdom. And that is why, according to Plato, the perfect, just state will only be achieved when the philosophers have become rulers or the rulers have become philosophers.

Where is Atlantis near Plato?

In his dialogues "Timaeus" and "Critias" Plato reports on the legendary island of Atlantis. About 9,000 years before Plato's time, the inhabitants of the island, endowed with immeasurable riches, set out to conquer the whole world, but were defeated by the Athenians. Shortly afterwards, the island on the other side of Gibraltar sank completely into the sea in a seaquake over the course of one day and one night.

Did you know that …?

Plato around 387 BC. founded the first philosophical academy in the West? He named it after the grove of the hero Akademos outside Athens, where the lessons also took place. This facility, which was only established in AD 529. was closed by Emperor Justinian, is the model of all later universities.

the Platonic concept of love significantly shaped the European love poetry of the Renaissance? The unreachable lover was venerated as a mediator of the supersensible beautiful, the good and the true.