Thursday, November 24, 2016

Plato and the Logos

Logos is the Greek term translated as “word,” “speech,” “principle,” or “thought.” In Greek philosophy, it also referred to a universal, divine reason or the mind of God.

Plato suggested that beyond our perceived reality exists a world of “perfect” forms. That is, whatever you see is suggestive of some idea that already exists. Everything we see is just a shade, an imitation of how things truly are. To learn more about these ideas, read about Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, which is a sort of the ‘Matrix‘ in its ancient version.

So, by studying philosophy, Plato said, we have a chance of catching a glimpse of how things truly are and discovering the perfect forms of everything we perceive. As you can see, the notion that we all live in a massive illusion has been around for a long time.

In addition to Plato's belief in perfect "forms," being a monist, he believed everything was derived from a single substance. This means (according to Plato) that everything – from stars in the sky to the dust under your bed – consists of the same basic material, but in different forms (there's that word again). Considering the existence of atoms and molecules and subatomic particles, as well as string theory, Plato may have been on mark.

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