‘The Republic’ which is an influential philosophical book was written by Plato in which he spoke many of his ideas on the nature of knowledge and reality. The theory of forms unravels the fact on how do we evolve the knowledge. According to Plato, our knowledge is mere recollection of the forms that we have seen prior to our birth and the knowledge on the immaterial realities cannot be obtained through our bodily experiences. The pertinent aspects of theory of forms are briefed in the ensuing part of this paper.
Forms are the ideas which are not the material world of change and the things that we experience through our senses are particular things not abstract things. For instance, we see a flower and we understand that it is beautiful. This beauty is referred to a particular flower but we do not see ‘beauty’. We understand that there are many beautiful flowers. In the view of Plato, if there are many beautiful flowers there will be a common factor that is shared by all the beautiful flowers. Therefore, there must be a thing known as ‘beauty’ which is not visible and experiential to our senses. So, there is a universal idea of beauty that is shared by all the beautiful things and this is the core idea of the form.
Plato postulates the theory of metaphysics of forms describing that form has existence independently on the particular things. For example, beauty exists independently on the beautiful things but beautiful things share the beauty in common. There are some essential properties for the forms in the view of Plato. They are self predication, independence from particulars, perfection, permanence and simplicity. Self-predication means that form is simply beautiful independent of particular things, but particular things are beautiful since they share the universal beauty. Independence from particulars means that the form has its own essence, and therefore, the form does not need time and space for its