Premium Essay

Plato's Middle Period Epistemology

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By norazman
Words 4378
Pages 18
Plato's Middle Period Metaphysics and Epistemology

1.0. The Background to Plato’s Metaphysics
The author Silverman, Allan (2014) of this article titled Plato’s Middle Period Metaphysics and Epistemology wrote about how Plato first began to annotate his own points on metaphysics and epistemology. As we all knew, Plato’s definition of things are heavily influenced by his teachers Heraclitus (c.540 B.C.-480-70) Parmenides (c.515 B.C.-449-40) and especially Socrates (470 B.C-399). However only remnants of the writings of Heraclitus and Parmenides and also nothing left of Socrates. The only evidence that we ever had is Plato’s depiction of his teacher that is the dialog he wrote in his writings about Socrates’s views. Sometimes, it is as if it was Socrates’s writing not Plato because of the many things about Socrates he wrote. Some had said that it was his own views but instead he used Socrates as the speaker.
This article also wrote about Plato’s predecessors’ views of the concept that influences his definition of Metaphysics and Epistemology which are Being and Forms. Firstly, Parmenides which he said there is one and only in this world and that is being. The truth is it never change and will never be. Sadly, there is not much we could conclude from Parmenides’s point of view. His concept of being has become Plato’s based of doctrine of Forms. As contrast to Parmenides’s definition of physical world, Heraclitus is the advocate of change. He said that the ordinary objects of physical world are gradually changing. Based on his theory of flux, it affects Plato’s thinking about ordinary material objects. According to the opinions of most scholars, the pivotal inspiration of Plato’s whole imagery is Socrates. Even so, many had asked whether the writing is about Plato’s or Socrates’s own citation because of his mouthpiece about Socrates are too much. Socrates view of…...

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Epistemology Analysis

...Epistemology: How do we know what is true? Aleisha Roche 11/9/12 Empirist those of the philosophers who believe that it is not rationalism but your senses that tell us the truth about knowledge. Philosophy could be something no one, not even philosophers, could actually agree on how to view life.  Philosophy is divided into multiple branches and Epistemology deals with the “theory of knowledge.” A philosopher’s job is to figure out what is truth, weather relevant or irrelevant and discover how it is that we know something and if it is true. Epistemology of Philosophy shows how truth fits into life. We will be looking into the Western and Asian views on truth from Aristotle to Plato to Kant. This philosopher is known for his study of matter being reality. Plato’s epistemology is that we can have guiene knowledge only on things that are perfect and unchanging. We have knowledge about the forms, but not the material things. Beliefs and opinions are the only thing we can have in a material world. Plato says that before we are born our souls live in a realm of the forms and have complete knowledge of the form but we don’t realize it. We can only recall when in difficulty. Now this philosopher’s theory is the view that all Knowledge originates from experience bases his study on question and answer. Aristotle believes that the object of real existence is the ones that we encounter through our sense perception. Humans, according to Aristotle, do not acquire knowledge all...

Words: 687 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Plato's Philosophy

...Tandoc Mariah Janey Vicente PLATO’S WORKS and WRITINGS Plato wrote extensively and most of his writings survived. His works are in the form of dialogues, where several characters argue a topic by asking questions of each other. Why do you think Plato choose this form of writing (dialogue)? These may be the possible reasons: 1. This form allows Plato to raise various points of view and let the reader decide which is valid. 2. The use of character and conversation allowed Plato to awaken the interest of his readers and therefore to reach a wider audience. 3. The dialogue form allows Plato's evident interest in pedagogical questions (how is it possible to learn? what is the best way to learn? from what sort of person can we learn? what sort of person is in a position to learn?) to be pursued not only in the content of his compositions but also in their form. 4. Plato evidently enjoys creating a sense of puzzlement among his readers, and the dialogue form is uniquely suited to this goal. CHRONOLOGY The exact order in which Plato's dialogues were written is not known, nor is the extent to which some might have been later revised and rewritten. However, there is enough information internal to the dialogues to form a rough chronology. The dialogues are normally grouped into three fairly distinct periods, with a few of them considered transitional works. The generally agreed upon modern ordering is as follows: early, middle, and late......

Words: 880 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

The Relationships Between Middle Ages and Renaissance Historical Art Periods

...The term “Middle Ages” was used by Italian historians in the 15th and 16th centuries. The culture at that time was similar to that of ancient Rome and Greece but different from the time between the fall of Rome and that time (Hanawalt, 1998). This period was later replaced by the Renaissance period and has been described as a period of rebirth where ancient techniques were revived and new ones developed leading to more success in the art industry. Artists were inspired by the recovery of Greco-Roman heritage from the East and the importation of Byzantine examples to the West (Zirpolo, 2008). This essay discusses the relationship between the Middle Ages and Renaissance historical art periods. The Middle Ages was considered a period of ignorance, barbarism and superstition (Hanawalt, 1998). This period was called the dark ages due to the negative practices involved, but Scholars saw the period differently stating that the history was a continuous process from biblical times to their time. Most of them wrote about battles, feudalism, crusades, manorialism, kings and emperors, rise of towns, Universities and churches (Hanawalt, 1998). Representations of art during this period were modestly scaled with little creativity because artists did their work collectively and mainly for religious purposes. There was no competition in the art industry and traditional techniques were used to design objects. Art was used to spread religion in Europe and throughout other parts of......

Words: 1036 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

From the Middle Age Through Renaissance Period

...From the Middle Ages through the Renaissance Brandi Morris American Intercontinental University Introduction Renaissance Art emerged as a cultural transformation which took place with the beginning of 14th Century. It was originated in France and brought historical art changes which subsequently marked a fine line between Middle Ages and Modern Age. Renaissance art was later identified as the return of Roman and Greek Art culture since it had focused over the humanism and reformation (Woods, 2007). This paper aims to compare two different art works of renaissance in order to identify their differences and similarities. The Portrait of Durer’s Father at 70 by Albrecht Durer, 1497. Material: oil on paint Size: 51×40cm Form It has two dimensions which have used different materials the most prominent ones are the oil on panel. The oil and lime painting process has been utilized in order to make this distinguishing piece of art (Examples of Renaissance works of art by artists born after 1469, 2010). There is a striking combination of black, brown, font, pink and red. Overall painting is made with the help of thin lines, for instance, the reflection of 70 years old man is clearly visible through the thin lines of his hairs and wrinkles on the face. The straight rectangular shape of the portrait has given it a more realistic and admirable look. Durer has used engraving texture techniques so as to give the portrait a more pragmatic appearance. Thin lines of Durer’s......

Words: 896 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Plato's Justice

...Justice played a very important role in Plato’s philosophy. After criticizing different theories of justice he came up with his own. He said that justice is a “human virtue” which makes a person good. Individually justice can make a person good and self-consistent. And socially it can bring a harmony to a society. So Plato’s idea of justice is all about virtue and goodness. Plato also believed that justice was an essential part of an ideal society. Because it could bring more light and cure bad things. Plato believed that the state had to be ruled by philosophers. Only they could judge what justice is, as they were wisdom. Such people in charge were capable of making accurate judgments. They had an idea of important issues in human life. According to Plato justice is understood only for enlightened people. But before Plato found his ideal term of justice, he questioned other people. The answers were all different and he summed them up. Most of the views were even rejected for some reasons. Plato’s concept of justice came from the theories of rejected people. The opinions of different great people were criticized by Plato. The point of Polemarchus’ justice is a perfect example. According to him “justice is doing good to friends and harm to enemies”. Plato doubted and had his own view on that statement. He said that doing evil to anybody wasn’t right in terms of morality. This conception of justice is about the society not an individual....

Words: 251 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Epistemology Paper

...Epistemology Schools Paper Arika Boyd PHL/215 Dixie Hoyt 09/15/09 Epistemology or theory of knowledge is a branch of philosophy related to the scope and nature of knowledge. The subject focuses on examining the nature of knowledge, and how it relates to beliefs, justification, and truth. Epistemology contract with the means of production of knowledge, as well as skepticism about different knowledge claims. The question is what does people Know? The core of this questions and area of study is Skepticism, in which there have been many approaches involved in trying to disprove a particular form of this school. This paper will discuss the Epistemology school of Skepticism, the contributors whom created the school; the evolution of how the school grew out of it’s the original field of Epistemology, and a few examples of real-life applications pertaining to the school.         Epistemology arisen either in defense of or in opposition to certain forms of skepticism. Skepticism is an attitude of doubt and uncertainty as expressed in everyday language and an identifiable school of thought in history ideas. It’s most general sense refers to doubt, disbelief, uncertainty, suspension of judgment, and rejection of knowledge. It is the doctrine that true knowledge in a particular area is uncertain and argues that beliefs in something does not justify that an assertion of knowledge on the particular subject. It also is characterized by its opposition to dogmatism in......

Words: 1088 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Epistemology

...philein, a word that means “love,” and sophia, a word that means wisdom. When you put the two words together, it means “the love or pursuit of wisdom”. Philosophy can be considered to be many different truths, depending on the person and the ideas they have embraced through time. With the different twist and turns that philosophy can take, there had to be some way of classifying the different approaches. The approaches were broken down into 6 areas to be able to classify what type of research was being done. Philosophers like Bertrand Russell brought to our attention that we are quick to embrace the scientific explanation of the world but the Metaphysics or the idea that there may be an afterlife cannot be proven with a microscope. Epistemology is the study of identifying what we know and why we know it. This is sometimes integrated with Metaphysics but has its own meaning. The main question in this study is what truth is, and what the sources of knowledge are. Ethics is the study of morals, values, and principals. Questions arise for these thinkers like how should we treat others, or is there a good life for humans. Political and social philosophy is important to those who want to fight for individual rights they show us all what citizenship really is. The important questions to these thinkers are, what the nature of justice is. Aesthetics is the study of beauty and art, and it questions things like what is true beauty. The logic is all about Validity in an argument. This......

Words: 812 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Essay on Epistemology

...something although it is false. It is important to set out epistemologies from an axiomatic starting point. There is no better place to start than with the Rationalist René Descartes and his cogito ergo sum. “I think, therefore I am” is a declaration of the extent of indubitable knowledge. That is to say, we can only be sure that a thinking entity exists by point of fact that it thinks (whether it be doubting, and whether or not we can define exactly what such a thinking entity might ontologically be). As Michael Lacewing states[3]: So Descartes begins by understanding knowledge in terms of certainty. To establish certainty, he tests his beliefs by doubt. Doubt, then, is the opposite of certainty. If we can doubt a belief, then it is not certain, and so it is not knowledge. From this Rationalist mantra, one can further adopt the position of the Pyrrhonian Skeptic. This term represents a skeptic who is defined by doubt so as to remain effectively agnostic over everything, even their own position, such that judgement is evaded. However, this, as a scope for an epistemology, is not very useful; it is not entirely pragmatic[4] in the context of everyday life. As a result, it can be deemed necessary, in order to form a usable epistemology, to build up from this. Yet to do so, one has to make certain leaps of faith, if you will. Or to put it another way, one must hold to knowledge claims that are not indubitable – a usable epistemology seems to have inevitable need of making......

Words: 1119 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Epistemology

...My Own Epistemology: In the Making Am I living in an illusion? What will happen to me after I die? Is there really such thing as a God? I have struggled with these three questions throughout my entire life, and I was very intrigued to discover that all of these questions were addressed throughout the many different readings in Libs 201: Exploring the Unknown. Author Chris Frith dissects the idea that the mental world is an illusion created by the brain in his book Making Up The Mind. Antony Flew, a former atheist, argues that there is such thing as a God or an “agent” and backs up his theory using science. Emile Durkheim writes about the foundation of religious thought in primitive people thousands of years ago, and addresses the question of where religious impulse comes from in humans. All of these readings address epistemological questions beyond the scientific domain of research, and I am left with an open mind as I try and retain all of the different concepts and ideas each of these authors has to offer. According to Chris Frith, the mental world is an illusion caused by the brain. In Making up the Mind, Frith addresses the distinction between the mental and the physical world, and claims that there isn’t actually a distinction at all. Frith writes, “Most of our interactions with other people are interactions between minds, not between bodies.” This statement really stood out to me, and I found myself repeating these words over and over again inside of my head.......

Words: 1011 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Epistemology

...As Rorty (1979) has observed epistemology seems to offer a vantage point, one step removed from the actual practice of science itself, which at first sight promises to provide some foundation for scientific knowledge. By seeking to explain ourselves as knowers, by telling us how we ought to arrive at our beliefs, epistemology is pivotal to science since `proper' scientific theorizing can only occur after the development of epistemological theory. It follows that a key question must be how can we develop epistemological theory--a science of science? Almost 60 years ago Neurath (1944) pointed to the paradox that epistemology confronts: a fundamental problem of circularity, from which it cannot escape, in that any theory of knowledge (i.e. any epistemology) presupposes knowledge of the conditions in which knowledge takes place. In effect, this prevents any grounding of epistemology in what purports to be scientific knowledge, psychological or otherwise, because one cannot use science in order to ground the legitimacy of science. For Neurath, such circularity means that we cannot dump philosophy by detaching ourselves from our epistemological commitments so as to assess those commitments objectively--indeed we would depend upon them in order to undertake that reflexive task. It follows that there are no secure foundations from which we can begin any consideration of our knowledge of knowledge--rather what we have are competing philosophical assumptions about knowledge that......

Words: 286 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Explain Plato's Theory of the Analogy of the Cave

...Explain Plato’s analogy of the cave ‘The analogy of the cave’ appears in Plato’s Republic. The analogy is concerned with Epistemology which focuses on gaining knowledge through reason- without the senses. This is also called a priori knowledge. Plato was taught by a Greek philosopher called Socrates. Socrates didn’t trust society and he believed that we don’t know the truth and that the truth doesn’t exist in this world, because everything changes here. Plato’s views on society are shown within ‘The Analogy of the Cave’. Plato believed that the perfect world, where we could find truth, was the world of forms. He said that the world we live in now, is full of illusions and is therefore known as the world of appearance. Plato’s theory of forms is built on the beliefs expressed through the analogy of the cave. Socrates was influenced by another Greek philosopher called Heraclitus. Plato created the analogy of the cave to represent how people were living in the world of appearance and not knowing the truth. He also represents the whole society in not being like a philosopher, and not wanting to find the truth. Plato’s analogy of the cave is as follows: There were 3 prisoners in a cave, who had been imprisoned in the cave for a very long time. They were chained up with their backs against the entrance, they were unable to move. The entrance to the cave was blocked by a fire. Behind the fire, there are people walking passed the fire, resulting in shadows projected on the......

Words: 658 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Epistemology

...Emily Simpson Philosophy 2745 11-20-2014 Epistemology For the most part, philosophers agree that knowledge requires truth, justification, and belief. However, the debate lies in whether or not a theory of knowledge accurately and fully satisfies these conditions. The standard account of knowledge has three conditions that need to be met in order for an individual to have knowledge. S must know that p if and only if: (1) S believes that p, (2) p is true and (3) S is justified in believing that p. On the surface, it seems that this account implicates knowledge; however, Edmund Gettier showed through the Gettier cases that you can believe yourself to be justified, but not actually have knowledge. This epistemic setback is known as the Gettier Problem. Since the standard account of knowledge was essentially done away with, philosophers have been in search of the best way to solve the Gettier problem. Alvin Goldman in particular has published many papers detailing his thoughts on the matter. “A Causal Theory of Knowing” was the first in a series of works in which Goldman sought a theory that could handle Gettier’s cases. Unfortunately, Goldman’s own causal theory was undermined by his and Carl Ginet’s fake barn case. The Ginet-Goldman fake barn case first appeared in Goldman’s “Discrimination and Perceptual Knowledge”. It describes a boy, Henry, who is traveling through the countryside and sees what he believes to be a barn. Unbeknownst to Henry, the area he is in is......

Words: 1042 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Plato's Cave

...Explain the analogy of the cave in Plato’s republic (25 marks) Plato, 428-347 B.C., was an Athenian philosopher who lived in Ancient Greece. In 407 B.C. he became a pupil and friend of Socrates. After living for a time at the Syracuse court, Plato founded (c.387 B.C.) near Athens the most influential school of the ancient world, the Academy, where he taught until his death. The “Republic” is one of Plato’s greatest books that he has written. Plato’s presents one of the most famous analogies in philosophy: the cave. This analogy illustrates the effects of true knowledge. True knowledge moves the philosopher through life without any distractions, which in due course brings him to the Form of the Good. He tells the Allegory of the Cave as a conversation between his teacher Socrates who inspired many of Plato's philosophical theories and Glaucon. In the dialogue between Socrates and Glaucon, Socrates asks Glaucon to imagine a cave, in which prisoners have been kept since their childhood, and each of them is held where they are all chained so that their legs and necks are unable to turn or allow them to move. This leaves them in a predicament where they’re forced to look at a wall in front of them. Behind the prisoners is a fire and between the fire and the prisoners is a raised walkway (bridge), on which people can walk. These people are shadow play, and they are carrying objects, in the shape of human and animal figures, as well as everyday items. The prisoners could only......

Words: 1315 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Plato's Theory of Forms

...Plato's Theory of Forms Plato was a Greek philosopher, one of the most important figures of the Ancient Greek world and the entire history of Western Philosophy. Plato wrote about many ideas in philosophy that are still talked about today. His writings explored justice, beauty and equality, and also contained discussions in aesthetics, political philosophy, theology, cosmology, epistemology and the philosophy of language. He was fascinated of the distinction between ideal forms and everyday experience. Plato was a student of Socrates and he thougth that Socrates has a pretty good ideas about the world, particulary when he came to his method of asking questions about established ideas. Since we know that Socrates wrote nothing down everything that we know about him comes in the form of dialogues written by Plato. Plato thinks that there is an explanaition for questions and he can answer "what is virtue ?" or "what is justice ?". Plato comes up with idea of answering these questions, with the Theory of Forms - the most imporant philosophical concept. Plato used his Theory of Forms to link the mind and reality. He taught that the real world consisted of universal ideas (forms). The world that people actually see is given form by these ideas and is thus less real because it is always changing, but the forms are eternal and unchangeable. Plato’s Theory of Forms states, that the physical world is not really the ‘real’ world, instead, ultimate reality exists beyond our......

Words: 426 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Plato's Republic

...When he claims that when we are born the mind is a blank tablet which is filled with ideas through experience, Locke failed to distinguish the doctrine of psychology and the epistemological thesis that explains experience is the test for truth (Cummins 1975). His conclusion of a plain historical method only a procedure for tracing the origin of ideas to experience and formed the fundamental empirical epistemology thesis that only experience can ascertain our beliefs (Locke 1948). Secondly, the explanation given by Locke regarding reducing the complex ideas to a collection of simple ideas has a fundamental flaw. It is not logical to say that all our ideas originate from simple ideas. Locke's simple ideas are not the starting point of knowledge but the terminal because when we do not start by simple ideas such is it has a head, a thorax, an abdomen, and wings to know it is an insect. Instead we start with the compound idea that it us an insect and we analyze it sing the simple ideas. When Locke criticized the innate ideas, he confused a psychological question with an epistemology one. Instead of seeking to answer the certainty of our ideas, Locke sought to determine their origin. He gave a logical order of simple ideas to complex ideas rather than retain the historical order of complex ideas to logical order. Another reason I do not agree with the position of Locke when he disregards innate ideas is the fact that necessary truths that are universally true and we cannot learn...

Words: 735 - Pages: 3