Saturday, 30 April 2011


Plato’s theory is based on the idea that although we do have a body it is the mind that is the centre of our existence and of our awareness of self. Although we do have a body it is not as central to our being and unlike our mind it is part of our ephemeral world. After death the body decays however the mind has the ability to be reborn and has the ability to rediscover the forms. The forms are the ideas we have inborn into our mind however we can only discover them through reason and exploration of our mind. An example of this is the idea that we possess of a perfect circle. We have not ever experienced a perfect circle however have the knowledge of what one is -this is a form. The idea in our minds which is perfect unlike the shallow copies present in the physical world. Our knowledge of the forms endures beyond death even though our personal experiences die with the body. Plato argues that the mind and body do both exist and are separate substances however he attaches more importance to the metaphysical mind than to the impermanent body. Plato does not clearly state how the body and the mind interact and only continues his belief that the mind is the most important feature of our existence as it is this that gives us intelligence and knowledge of the realm of the forms. This theory therefore supports the claim that the relationship between mind and body cannot be clearly defined or understood. Despite Plato’s clear outline of both the body and mind he does not reach a conclusion as to how the two work together even though they are two separate substances.

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