Encyclopedia > The Forms

  Article Content

The Forms

Plato spoke of forms (sometimes capitalized: The Forms) in formulating his solution to the problem of universals. The forms, for Plato, are roughly speaking archetypes or abstract representations of the many types and properties[?] (that is, of universals) of things we see all around us. There is, therefore, on Plato's view, forms of dogs, of human beings, of mountains, as well as of the color red, of courage, of love, and of goodness. Indeed, for Plato, God is identical to the Form of the Good[?].

The forms are supposed to exist in what is, for Plato, not inaccurately described as a "Platonic heaven." For Plato, when human beings die, their souls achieve some sort of reunion with the forms--reunion, because souls originate in and even, in life, have some recollection of, this Platonic heaven.

Form and idea are terms used to translate the Greek word eidos (plural eide). "Idea" is a misleading translation, because for Plato, the eide do not exist in the mind.

For more information about Plato's theory of universals (forms, ideas), see Platonic realism. See also the divided line of Plato.

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
  Featured Article
Islandia, New York

... of the village is 73.63% White, 12.30% African American, 0.13% Native American, 6.05% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 4.94% from other races, and 2.91% from two or mo ...

This page was created in 29.4 ms