According to Plato, are the ideas of Beauty and Courage objectively real, or are they notions that we invent in our minds whenever we want to? Do you think these ideas are objectively real? Provide an argument to back up your answer.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

For Plato, ideas like Beauty, Courage, Love, Justice, and all other metaphysical concepts only have any real basis in capital "T" Truth whenever they are contemplated outside of the senses. As he argued in The Republic, individuals are only able to come to an authentic reality of a concept once they have gone through an extensive process of dialectic, which, for him, was a rigorous examination of one's strongly held beliefs. This examination, which consisted of putting one's perceptions of the world up for question, would only be complete once an individual had reached a point of interrogation at which they no longer found any inherent contradictions between what they believed to be true and the real form of the idea itself. Knowledge arrived at by this method was the purest of all forms, and Plato believed it to reflect the Truth about the reality of the world.

Thus, as a direct answer to your question, Plato would argue that the ideas of Beauty, Courage, and the like are real, but that...

(The entire section contains 814 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on