Platonic Forms

Free Essay Database Online

Platonic Forms

One Example of a Platonic Form other than what the book suggests is the Form of a book. The idea to write this paper on the Form of book came to me while I was sitting in the library perusing the reference books, trying to decide on an answer to question 2. You could say that the answer was staring me right in the face.

I believe that the Form of a book exists but I have to agree with Aristotle’s idea that the Form is created when the object is created. I also think that Forms are eternal, but from the moment that they are first thought of and then brought into the physical world.
At one point in time someone decided to put information together in the form of words written on pages put between two bindings. Before the first person who thought of and created this “book”, I believe one must ask themselves if the Form existed. How could a Form exist if the object didn’t yet exist? A Form for a thing such as a book exists once the object is created because it is a new idea. Therefore, everything participates in a Form because everything tangible exists.

The idea of a perfect book can exist only in our minds through thought. Since books range in topic and in content , what might be the topic and content of this perfect book? A book contains ideas, characters, etc., so would the Form of a book then contain perfect ideas, characters, etc.?
To define what a book is is to define what the Form must be a perfect version(idea) of. My philosophy textbook differs very much from a children’s book such as “Where The Wild Things Are”, but they both still participate in the Form of a book, being that the Form of a book only dictates the shape and not the content. It is when the thought of a book is represented in the physical world that content and topic come into play.
Suppose that I make photocopies of every page out of “Where The Wild Things Are”, and staple them together at the corner. We could still call that stapled together group of papers the book “Where The Wild Things Are”, yet could we still state that it participates in the Form since it doesn’t look like a book? This is where are senses deceive us. Up close you would notice that it is a known book, but from afar it participates in a different Form. This leads to the thought of an infinite number of Forms. This stack of papers you could say is imitating the form rather than participating in it.

Everyone has a conceived notion of what a book is. We learn what a book is at a very early age. Unless people know of Plato’s Theory of Forms, they think little if not nothing of what role this theory plays in our thought processes. When we see an object that consists of information in the form of words or pictures on paper between two bindings, our brains tell us that that object is a book. This proves that we have an idea in our head of what a book should look like.