In this paper, I will explain and critique Plato’s view of reality. I will argue that Plato’s argument is problematic because it fall’s victim to numerous fallacies, the most famous of course being the third man problem. First I will explain a problem in Plato’s theory. Finally I will suggest an alternative to Plato’s theory. This issue is important because the question of reality has plagued philosophy since its beginning, which many people feel has still never been satisfactorily answered.
Plato’s argues that reality is knowledge of the Forms. According to Plato, the visible things we see every day in our “world of senses” participates in a Form and is also dependent on that particular Form. The Form makes the visible thing intelligible and accounts for its existence. For example, the term “human” names the eternal existing Form of the human.
Plato’s first argument for the Forms can be considered an epistemological argument. Plato claims that: knowledge is enduring, and a true rational belief based on instruction. He says we do have knowledge, but that it cannot be about the world of the senses (because the senses can deceive); therefore it must be about an eternal world. This enduring world is the world of the Forms.
Plato’s second argument deals with the metaphysical aspect. The argument goes something like this: consider two things that are alike (two humans). They both have a certain character about them (they are both human). Now, what they have in common cannot be the same as either one (a human is not the same as person A or B). It also isn’t identical with the two of them together (person C is also a human). What they do share then has to be a reality completely different from them. We call this the Forms (in this case Form of the humans). In summary the visible things that we come into contact with can be categorized by what they have in common. What they have in common is their Form.
Finally, Plato’s third...