?Plato’s Metaphysics in a Nutshell it is vital to know the difference Plato made between sensible “things” and “forms. ” Things are those aspects of reality which we see though our senses: a boy, a table, fan, television, etc. Everything that we experience in the world of impression is constantly changing (the television will start to get worn down, the boy will age with time), imperfect and often passing away. This is the realm of appearances, and we all know that appearances can be deceptive.
Whereas things change, decay, and ultimately fade away, the Forms (the Greek term is Eidos which is sometimes translated as Ideas) are eternal and unchanging. This is the realm of perfect concepts and it is grasped, not by the senses, but by the reason. The Life of Plato Plato was born around the year 428 BCE into an established Athenian household with a rich history of political connections — including distant relations to both Solon and Pisistratus.
Plato’s parents were Ariston and Perictone, his older brothers were Adeimantus and Glaucon, and his younger sister was Potone. In keeping with his family heritage, Plato was destined for the political life. But the Peloponnesian War, which began a couple of years before he was born and continued until well after he was twenty, led to the decline of the Athenian Empire. The war was followed by a rabid conservative religious movement that led to the putting to death of Plato’s teacher, Socrates. Together these events forever distorted the course of Plato’s life.
Aristotle tells us that sometime during Plato’s youth the philosopher-to-be became familiar with the doctrines of Cratylus, a student of Heraclitus, who, along with other Presocratic thinkers such as Pythagoras and Parmenides, provided Plato with the foundations of his metaphysics and epistemology. Upon meeting Socrates, however, Plato directed his inquiries toward the question of virtue. The development of a noble quality was to be before all else. Indeed, it is a mark of Plato’s brilliance that he was to find in metaphysics and epistemology a host of moral and political implications.
How we think and what we take to be real having an important role in how we act. Thus, Plato came to believe that a philosophical manner toward life would lead one to being just and, ultimately, happy. DAVID HUME LIFE Born in Edinburgh, Hume spent his childhood at Ninewells, the family’s modest estate on the Whitadder River in the border lowlands near Berwick. His father died when he was two years old, he left the wife with the responsibility of taking care of the family, Hume’s mother a woman of singular Merit, who, though young and beautiful, devoted herself to the rearing and educating of her Children.
Hume’s mother, Katherine Falconer Hume noticed that young David was “unusually wake-minded” — precocious, in her lowland dialect — so when his brother went up to Edinburgh University, David, not yet twelve, joined him. Plato studied history and literature, as well as ancient and modern philosophy, and he also studied some mathematics and contemporary science.
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