What are ideas according to Plato?

2 min read


To understand Plato's central philosophy, one must understand the Forms (or "Ideas"). Plato believed that reality is divided into two parts: the ideal and the phenomena. The ideal is the perfect reality of existence. The phenomena is the physical world we experience; it is a flawed echo of the perfect, ideal model that exists outside of space and time.

Plato's theory of ideas is unique in the sense that his theory is the theory of the objectivity of concepts. That the concept, e.g. "man", is not just an idea in the mind, but something that has its own reality, outside and independent of the mind - this is the essence of Plato's philosophy.

So when we ask: "what is a table?", we usually describe only arbitrary attributes, e.g. whether it has 3, 4 or more legs. Nevertheless, we all have an "ideal" idea of a table when we think of a table. This idea is to be understood metaphysically. It exists in the "realm of ideas". Now, it is interesting to note that, according to Plato, we are endowed with fragmentary memories of this world of ideas, since the human soul also comes from the realm of ideas and returns to it after the death of the body.

Thus, a cognition is always an approximation to the eternal, true idea of an object or concept, since the true, the good and the beautiful or justice are also ideas of which we possess a pale glimmer. We can also say that a cognition is thus always a reminder of the metaphysical "ideal" world that we make salient when we deal with a thing. Plato's theory also survives in our winged word of "Platonic love," that is, which takes place without physical exchange and is limited solely to the spiritual-ideal. These ideas have also clearly found their way into the metaphysical theories of Christianity. We speak explicitly of "Neoplatonists" who deal with this synthesis, whose most famous representative is Plotinus.

About the meme there is to say that Aristotle was the disciple of Plato and of course, one cannot see an idea - or can one? Naturally, only if one has not been present in the academy ...

So, you've just finished reading the funniest and most enlightening blog article ever written (we simply like exaggerations). Your mind is blown, your sides ache from laughing, and you would like to enjoy this experience regularly. Here's the kicker: you can simply subscribe to our free memesletter to get just such memes and their explanation delivered to your inbox on a weekly basis. Simply sign up at the bottom of this page!

Additionally you realize that you absolutely need some merch to commemorate this momentous occasion. Well, lucky for you, we've got the perfect selection of witty t-shirts, hilarious mugs, and sassy stickers that will forever remind you of that time you read that incredible blog post. And here's the cherry on top - use the promo code "BLOGREADER" at checkout to get a whopping 15% off your entire order! It's like getting a discount on instant joy and everlasting awesomeness. So go ahead and snag some swag, my friend. You deserve it.


You liked this blog post and don't want to miss any new articles? Receive a weekly update with the best philosophy memes on the internet for free and directly by email.

Back to blog

1 comment



Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.