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Word Count: 1,077
Platos theory of forms is strongly based on what is real and what is not What is real is thought to be perfect but something cannot be real or perfect if it is always changing He explains that the World of forms is very different to the World of appearances The World of forms can only be properly understood by philosophers and those who seek knowledge not by the ignorant or those who do not wish to learn the truth The theory of forms makes a distinction between those objects that are real and those that are only real in our minds His dialogues eg Parable of the cave portray knowledge as the process of leaving the cave and going into the sunlight The people in the cave find their reality in the shadows cast in the cave and assume there can never be anything beyond these shadows These shadows symbolise how the world that we see is just a shadow or reflection of what is real For Plato the real world is not what we see around us it is only the World of forms that is real and unchanging This is also known as the One and many The One being the perfect World of forms and the Many being the imperfect World of appearances Plato approach to the two different alternate world is know as dualism The idea of dualism has had a major effect and has strongly influenced the development of philosophy Another side to Platos dualism is the belief in the separation of knowledge and opinion We seek knowledge but really all we have is opinion Plato realised the opinion is often mistaken for knowledge for example what may be beautiful for one person may be ugly for another Both people seem to have knowledge but they are only opinion These opinions are contradictory as is everything in the World of appearances therefore it is impossible to have
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