CriticaLink | Plato: Phaedrus | Terms


For Plato, the world around us which we comprehend with our senses is not reality, but merely a collection of phenomena that are defective copies of their corresponding eternal, perfect Forms. Only these Forms, which exist in an ideal realm beyond the senses and can only be grasped by the intellect, are truly "real". The theory of the Forms is a central component of Plato's ontology--his philosophical account of what is real--as well as his epistemology--his theory of knowledge. Simply knowing the physical and social world around us is not true knowledge; only knowledge based on a recollection --anamnesis of the Forms--can approach the truth