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Metaphysics is further categorized into two main sub branches of Cosmology, which studies the origin and nature of the universe, and Ontology, which studies the nature of being and existence. Within metaphysics there are a broad range of differing philosophical theories having dissenting opinions and expressing opposing views... Among the many influential metaphysicians include Plato and Spinoza, each known for their philosophical studies and theories with respect to their conception of reality. The aim of this essay is to highlight the important aspects of their philosophies with respect to their ontology (i.e. their conception of reality), and also to compare the two philosophies and their ethics by enlightening the most prominent of the ontologies. Plato’s Philosophy The theory of Forms of the theory of Ideas is the basis of Plato’s philosophy. It refers to the belief that the material physical world as it appears to us in reality in not the real world, but it’s only the image of the real world. Theory of Forms According to Plato, the objects that we see in the real world are not actually real, but the imitations of the real Forms. In allegory of the cave in one of Plato’s dialogue Republic that discuss the Forms, it is said that the objects that we human beings perceive in the world are characterized as shadows of real things, and the real things cannot be perceived directly. These Ideas of Forms are the foundation of good or bad behavior and they are the basis behind Plato’s dualism and they also allow him to show the immortality of the soul. The Ontological Dualism Plato speaks in defense of the notion of clear ontological dualism which has two different types of realities or worlds: The Sensible World & the Intelligible World. These two worlds are quite different in a sense that the Sensible World consists of individual realities and so it consists of more than one part forming the whole. It is the world that is invariably and always changing, the world of material, physical and space time things. Conversely, the Intelligible World is the world of Forms (or Ideas), which are the invisible universal realities and in general do not change. These Forms or Ideas can well be understood, inferred and known and they are unquestionable realities. According to Plato these Forms are not just the perception or concepts in or minds, in fact, they exist out of our senses and consciences as free and independent beings. Plato realizes that although the Sensible World is ontologically inferior and the intelligible World possesses the highest degree of reality, the reality of sensible things cannot be denied, and it also has the quality of being which originates from the imitation of the real world. The immortal entity or the Creator of the universe gives the shape of the intelligible world’s Forms to the amorphous and formless sensible objects; hence they appear similar to the Forms ("Torre de Babel"). Forms – The Essential Basis of Reality One may question what exactly are the forms? A form is something that is the essence of the objects, without the existence of these forms a thing would not be the kind of thing it is. For example, we may draw a square shaped object on a chalkboard and say it’s a square. A square as we know is a polygon with 4 sides and it’ ...Show more
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Philosophical studies deal with the intellectual inquiry of the fundamental and basic questions about the existence, knowledge, ethics and reasoning. It’s a belief about how a person should live and deal with a particular situation. Philosophy tries to answer these key questions through critical and rational arguments…
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