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sensible objects and Plato

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Why according to Plato, are ordinary, sensible objects like trees or chairs merely objects of opinion while only the Forms (the Just itself, the Beautiful itself) are knowable?

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According to Plato, the essential truth of things does not exist in everyday objects that we see but in an unseen idea or form of those objects. The eternal forms are perfect and unchangeable through time. This is a crucial point in many of Plato's dialogues. In the Republic, the philosopher who emerges from the cave eventually learns the truth of things by being able to stare directly at the sun. This means that he sees it as it is and ...

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The essential truth of things for Plato is highlighted.

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These notes offer an explanation of Plato's epistemology in the Republic.

The argument of Republic 5 is one of the most difficult in the Platonic corpus. It is crucial for an understanding of both Plato's epistemology in general and also the specific political proposals of the Republic. I will start by offering some contextual information, and then lay out the argument as a whole. I will then offer a general explanation of the concepts of knowledge, belief, and existence, operative in the argument. Finally, I work through the main steps more slowly and with explanation as appropriate.

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