Ramble. Focus. Ramble.

Review: Plato’s Republic(X)

The purpose of the book and the main idea, within, has been Plato’s ideology of the Eternal Realm of Ideas. He uses his belief of the Eternal Realm of Universals and dialectically concludes from premises that follow into other premises. From the beginning to one-fourth of the book he has focussed on building up arguments, one after another, about how imitators are nothing but misleaders. Through his belief of an Eternal Realm, Plato, describes the positions of certain entities. He places a maker, who creates the concept/soul of something. The maker, for Plato, is the God who creates the true form of something. The artificer is a common man who reproduces God’s creation in an imperfect form, in the material realm. To understand Plato’s argument one needs to know about his theory of Eternal realms. His theory has not been clearly stated in the book but is scattered all over; parts of it have been used to build up certain propositions of arguments.

Plato’s belief of the Eternal Realm of Universals has been concluded by different arguments. He proposes that an object on earth has numerous forms in the material world, say, for instance, there are countless beds on earth but human mind is able to conceive them all as beds because of the eternal concept of bed lying in the Realm of Universals. Therefore, all the beds on earth are reflections of the ideal form of bed in another universe. Similarly, everything on earth that exists in multiples has its one ideal form that is in another realm. Those true forms that do not deteriorate in any way are God’s creation. According to Plato, these forms are perfect and true and have been created by the maker.

Plato proceeds with his argument by proposing that whatever is made by the maker in the perfect form is depicted in the untrue form by an artificer, like a carpenter makes a chair. The chair made by the carpenter is material and not true, it therefore, dissolves in its own like every material thing made by artificers. The untrue forms, everything on earth, are mortal and keep degenerating. Like, every chair or bed meets its end finally. They either break or decompose with age. It is because, Plato explains, that everything on earth has good and evil in it. Te evil in everything leads it to its end. He proposes that soul is the exception and soul has no evil. Soul is therefore made by the maker and it is eternal. Soul of everything, living or non-living, is what is present in the Eternal realm.  Plato concludes that painters and poets copy things that the artificer has made. Hence, they are imitators. A painter paints the already imperfect chair an artificer has made and makes it even more untrue. Therefore, an imitator is two times away from truth. He depicts, not reality, but appearances. Appearances that are actually relative; they will be concluded differently by people at different positions in a room. The example Plato uses is of Homer and his tragic poetry, and how far off from truth it is. Homer’s tragedy makes people mourn and cry but life we actually try to hide our sorrows. Plato proves that a poet is similar to a painter. Again, two times away from the truth and utterly false. His poetry is also based on his experience or his imagination, and has little to do with truth.

This is how he distinguishes the maker, artificer, imitator with respect to his theory of Eternal Realm of Forms.

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This entry was posted on March 13, 2011 by in Philosophy and tagged , , .
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