Sonnet 60: Like as the waves make towards the pebbl'd shore
BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
Like as the waves make towards the pebbl'd shore,
So do our minutes hasten to their end;
Each changing place with that which goes before,
In sequent toil all forwards do contend.
Nativity, once in the main of light,
Crawls to maturity, wherewith being crown'd,
Crooked eclipses 'gainst his glory fight,
And Time that gave doth now his gift confound.
Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth
And delves the parallels in beauty's brow,
Feeds on the rarities of nature's truth,
And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow:
And yet to times in hope my verse shall stand,
Praising thy worth, despite his cruel hand
That about covers it!
The change that occurs in a river is vivid and unmistakable. By claiming that the change we see in a river is true of our world in general, Heraclitus challenges the idea that some things simply stay the same: we may not see the change so clearly, but change is occurring nonetheless. This might be easiest to accept in the physical realm, where, for example, on the level of atoms, there is constant motion in all physical objects, no matter how solid and stationary they may seem. And certainly it is easy enough to see that the bodies of all living things are constantly changing, not only aging but also going through various biological processes and exchanges with the environment, such as breathing. But what about other realms? Heraclitus might not have been thinking about things such as relationships and love, or a person's identity, but his insistence on the fundamental fact of change encourages us to consider whether change is not inevitable in such aspects of life as well.
If we take Heraclitus’s model of the world as a guide, change is not only something we must accept, but it is actually something to celebrate. Heraclitus saw the world as a system in flux, but in his view that very flux is also what keeps the world the same, in a sense. In a famous re-statement, Plato leaves out that aspect of Heraclitus’s view: “Heraclitus, you know, says that everything moves on and that nothing is at rest; and, comparing existing things to the flow of a river, he says that you could not step into the same river twice.”1 So, according to Plato’s way of stating the idea, the river itself is a different river from moment to moment, since the water flowing in it is different: if you step into a river at one moment and step out, and then step back in, you are stepping into a different river. But if we look carefully at the fragment from Heraclitus, we see that although he says the waters are changing, he does not say that the river is different. Heraclitus specificallly claims that it is the same river although its waters are constantly changing.2 So according to Heraclitus there can be an overall stability despite, or perhaps because of, constant change: The river is the same river although it is changing--it’s just part of what it is to be a river that there is this constant change going on.
Heraclitus’s insistence on the process of change as fundamental to the world poses a question to us when we are facing difficult changes that we might want to deny or resist. By insisting that something or someone stay the same, could it be that we are destroying the very thing we wish to preserve? In any particular case, when we are resisting change, we might ask ourselves, is this like trying to stop a river’s waters from flowing?
Platonic realism is a philosophical term usually used to refer to the idea of realism regarding the existence of universals or abstract objects after the Greek philosopher Plato a student of Socrates. As universals were considered by Plato to be ideal forms, this stance is ambiguously also called Platonic idealism. This should not be confused with idealism as presented by philosophers such as George Berkeley: as Platonic abstractions are not spatial, temporal, or mental, they are not compatible with the later idealism's emphasis on mental existence. Plato's Forms include numbers and geometrical figures, making them a theory of mathematical realism; they also include the Form of the Good, making them in addition a theory of ethical realism.
In Platonic realism, universals do not exist in the way that ordinary physical objects exist, even though Plato metaphorically referred to such objects in order to explain his concepts. More modern versions of the theory seek to avoid applying potentially misleading descriptions to universals. Instead, such versions maintain that it is meaningless (or a category mistake) to apply the categories of space and time to universals.
Regardless of their description, Platonic realism holds that universals do exist in a broad, abstract sense, although not at any spatial or temporal distance from people's bodies. Thus, people cannot see or otherwise come into sensory contact with universals, but in order to conceive of universals, one must be able to conceive of these abstract forms.
Plato's interpretation of universals is linked to his Theory of Forms in which he uses both the terms εἶδος (eidos: "form") and ἰδέα (idea: "characteristic") to describe his theory. Forms are mind independent abstract objects or paradigms (παραδείγματα: patterns in nature) of which particular objects and the properties and relations present in them are copies. Form is inherent in the particulars and these are said to participate in the form. Classically idea has been translated (or transliterated) as "idea," but secondary literature now typically employs the term "form" (or occasionally "kind," usually in discussion of Plato's Sophist and Statesman) to avoid confusion with the English word connoting "thought".
Platonic form can be illustrated by contrasting a material triangle with an ideal triangle. The Platonic form is the ideal triangle — a figure with perfectly drawn lines whose angles add to 180 degrees. Any form of triangle that we experience will be an imperfect representation of the ideal triangle. Regardless of how precise your measuring and drawing tools you will never be able to recreate this perfect shape. Even drawn to the point where our senses cannot perceive a defect, in its essence the shape will still be imperfect; forever unable to match the ideal triangle.
Some versions of Platonic realism, like that of Proclus, regard Plato's forms as thoughts in the mind of God. Most consider forms not to be mental entities at all.
All laws of science, according to all we've ever know, are constant. Gravity will always pull us down, pull the earth to the sun, etc. Gravity is a fairly bad example as the universe seems to be spreading agents gravity but I'm sure most people will get the general idea. A better example would be math. 1+1 will always equal 2. It doesn't matter what you call "one" but the idea will always be the same: One item and another item equal two items. Of course this is all according to what we know as humans but I'm sure it will remain the same.