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Some Plato Questions

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  • Some Plato Questions

    Hi there,
    I'm working on rewriting a paper about Plato and I'm feeling a bit lost. Specifically, I'm not really sure where the concept of "false belief" fits into his philosophy.

    So far, I understand that he believed true knowledge cannot be perceived by the senses at all. It is rooted in the Forms which are self-existing, eternal, and changeless. In the physical world, objects resemble Forms and are perceived through the sense producing opinion. Genuine knowledge is absolutely true, where as opinion can either be true or not true. True opinion is the best we can do in the material world based on what we can perceive. So, is false opinion is an illogical assumption about the world?

    Why would Plato raise the epistemic bar so high that the only knowledge that is possible is that which exists beyond time?

    Thanks for all your help : )
    My law is love unto all beings..
    -The Charge of the Goddess

  • #2
    I have a professional dislike of philosophy, and no real knowledge of Plato aside from what the neo-Platonists thought about him. But my understanding is that Plato's stance on "false belief" or "false opinion" changed over time. You may want to take into consideration that Theaetetus and Sophist differ in this regard (or so I'm told).


    • #3
      I've never really gotten the whole Plato "false belief" thing...because honestly, he doesn't explain it well. I actually went and asked some other folks about this as a way to try to help you (and me) out - and the general consensus is that Plato fails to explain what false belief is at the end of the day.

      There are five concepts that make up Plato's idea of false belief, which I am sure you are aware of - and there is the point that there can be no true belief with a firm definition of false belief....but other than that the whole thing is a confusing mess.
      "The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common:
      instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views,
      which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that need altering."


      • #4
        Yikes! That's the problem I'm facing. My professor is asking me to distinguish false opinion from true opinion. :/
        My law is love unto all beings..
        -The Charge of the Goddess