Platonic Realism

Essay by churchbudzUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, May 2004

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I found information on an online encyclopedia called Wikipedia, at my initial looking at the information I was very confused however I eventually derived a basic definition out of what was presented. The ideas as a whole seemed very abstract.

Platonic Realism seems to be the most precise form of realism. It looks to explain universals and the existence of universals in our world. Universals are things as said in the encyclopedia such as redness, tallness other such universal descriptions that can be applied in many case to more than one thing. Plato believed that such universals existed in a "realm" that was not of either space or time. He believed that it not purposeful to apply universals to such things as space in time because it wouldn't serve any meaning. According to Plato these universals do not exist in the same way as physical objects such as a baseball, however Platonic realism, acknowledges that they do indeed exist.

The next part of my explanation my be a little unclear seeing as though I had a hard time comprehending what was being said in the encyclopedia description.

Apparently, Plato's universals are also known as forms or ideas. These forms are original models and other particular objects are simply just copies. An example the encyclopedia gave that help sort of clarify this for me was, that a certain apple, is a copy of the form of applehood. Applehood being the form or original model, and the certain apple I spoke of is the particular or copy. These forms can have many copies and all these copies are not necessarily the same exact copy of the form, but close enough to be recognizable.

Overall I thought found this assignment rather intriguing. As I said before, Plato's ideas of universals are extremely abstract.