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Different Planes of Thought?

IamPlato
Posts: 3
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4/4/2014 5:47:28 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Eternal truths exist in the realm of Ideas ("Idealism" = "Ideas") rather than in what we would call the "real" or natural world. Truth can exist in your mind, but it can not be observed or perceived out in the natural world; that is to say, Truth does not exist in the world that we can see with our senses: sight, sound, etc. Plato calls this not true world the "sensible" world, meaning "the world perceived by the senses. Think of this difference this way:
Every person you see and spend time with will some day die, but the concept or idea of "person" is unchanging or (relatively) eternal.

There is no single person who encapsulates the entire concept or idea person or "human being" " yet the idea "human being" describes all human beings: so the idea is more complete and thus "truer" and everlasting, compared to the people who live and die in the natural world.

The Sensible and the Intelligible:
Our knowledge is divided between that which we gain through our senses, or sensible [or sensory] knowledge " what I can see and hear etc. " and that which we know intellectually, intelligible knowledge or the realm of ideas, that which I think. In Plato"s hierarchy, sensible/sensory knowledge is faulty and a mere shadow or representation of True knowledge.

The Soul: Essence, Descent and Ascent:
The True essence of man is located in our souls, not our bodies -- remember that sensible knowledge (knowledge gained through the body's senses) is faulty. The soul descends from the "The Form of the Good" -- from eternal truth or "The First Principle" -- and is thus in a "fallen" state in this imperfect, shadow-world (represented by the cave).

The soul desires to return to the eternal Form Of The Good, and this is why we desire wisdom. Too much attention to sensible information (smell, touch, taste etc.) distracts us from the good: the pursuits of the soul, or gaining intelligible wisdom.
sdavio
Posts: 1,798
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4/4/2014 6:50:46 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/4/2014 5:47:28 AM, IamPlato wrote:
Eternal truths exist in the realm of Ideas ("Idealism" = "Ideas") rather than in what we would call the "real" or natural world.

First, I would question your idea of 'existence'. Does a truth 'exist', or is it a statement about existents? The word 'exist' makes it sound like the true statement is itself an existing independent object.

Second, a truth is only true insofar as it describes the 'real world'. Therefore, what you call an 'eternal truth' (eg an axiom or tautology) is not a statement about the world at all but a tool / principle of cognition. While rules like A is A are irrelevant when directly applied to reality, communication and thought would be impossible without implicitly accepting them.

Truth can exist in your mind, but it can not be observed or perceived out in the natural world; that is to say, Truth does not exist in the world that we can see with our senses: sight, sound, etc. Plato calls this not true world the "sensible" world, meaning "the world perceived by the senses. Think of this difference this way:
Every person you see and spend time with will some day die, but the concept or idea of "person" is unchanging or (relatively) eternal.

It only seems unchanging because the word 'person', and any such symbol, is chosen specifically to be easy to repeat because that aids thought and communication. However, what it applies to does indeed change.

There is no single person who encapsulates the entire concept or idea person or "human being" " yet the idea "human being" describes all human beings: so the idea is more complete and thus "truer" and everlasting, compared to the people who live and die in the natural world.

This is the human faculty of abstraction. I could do it with anything: I could draw a picture, and give it a name, and then it is 'conceptualized', but this doesn't mean I've 'tapped into' some eternal non-physical object which applies to the drawing. I've connected the word and the drawing through my mind, which is a necessary human faculty developed so we can remember and communicate ideas.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx