Key 05 – Absoluteness vs. Particularity in Plato’s Forms

As previously mentioned in Plato’s Theory of Forms, any particular object encountered on the perceptual level is an imperfect copy (a translation) of an original and eternal Blueprint referred to as The Form, from where this object’s innermost identity supposedly originates.

This Form, according to Plato’s Theory of Forms, is constant, eternal, and it is the very essential element that makes any particular object that arises from it , identifiable for what it is in its finality, despite variations in space and time between other particular objects that supposedly take the same form.

Let’s consider once more the Form Apple. All apples that are to ever exist in space and time, no matter to what degree they might differ among each other in terms of size, color, taste, freshness etc. derive their essential identity (What-ness) from one and the same original blueprint, The Form Apple. This Form from Plato’s Theory of Forms, is absolute, eternal, non-changing and somehow forever radiates the very substance that makes all perceptual objects that take its form, however various the particularities they are prone to exhibit, resonate in their finality with The Identity Apple.

In accord with Plato’s Theory of Forms, particularities relative to any Form expose variations. However, despite such relative variations, The Absoluteness of the Form (which is in this case The Form Apple) transcends such variations and is not in any way affected or changed by them.

According to this Platonic premise deduced from Plato’s Theory of Forms, perceptual variations exhibited among particular apples in space and time are not inherent elements of The Apple’s Conceptual Identity as they appear to be on the Perceptual Level. Therefore, such variations bear no relativity to The Form Apple itself, neither do they alter anything in it.

We now find logical questions that pose themselves at this point.

First, how could this Supposed Absolute and Unchanging Unity reflected through the nature of The Conceptual Form Apple, account for the multiplicity of differences exhibited perceptually among many apples, yet still preserve a unity? Secondly, how could it preserve its Absoluteness on one hand and yet enter the Realm of Relativity, Change, and multiplicity on the other? Finally, if One individual Form could account for so Many variations, then how could this Form remain One and similar to itself? Supposedly it couldn’t. Therefore, in Plato’s Theory of Forms there would have to exist countless forms of The Form Apple (itself) in the realm of eternity, practically as many as there are particular Apples in space and time, to account for all the possible perceptual variations among all the individual apples that are to ever exist in space and time. This is especially true since by this Logic of Particularity, there cannot be any two unique apples in Space and Time that could be said to be identical to one another.

To acquire wholesome answers to these questions, however basic, that are reflective of an ancient philosophical issue (perhaps as ancient as philosophy itself), it is important to comprehend the Gnostic Logic revealed through The Three Gnostic Trinities. The part that exposes the logical link that conjoins The Conceptual Realm of Eve (The Universal Soul) with The Perceptual Realm of Seth (The Word) is particularly essential.

However, in Plato’s Theory of Forms, the answers to these questions would be as simple as follows:

What accounts for all these variations that are highlighted perceptually among particular apples is that there are other Forms than The Form Apple, such as The Form Redness, The Form Greenness, The Form Color itself (which includes the previous two forms), The Form Roundness, The Form Size, The Form Freshness, The Form Ripeness, and so on. So then, by Plato’s Theory of Forms, a given Green Apple X might differ from another given Red Apple Y. This difference is not by virtue of The Identity Apple (Apple-ness), but rather by virtue of other identities that pertain to Color, Size, Smell etc., which have nothing to do with The Form Apple on the Conceptual level.

The Form Apple, in keeping to the Logic of Plato’s Theory of Forms, remains untouched by these differences. These variations, according to Plato’s Theory of Forms, are accounted for by other eternal forms such as: The Form Size, The Form Green, The Form Red, etc Each of those forms has its own identifiable presence in The Realm of Form that cannot be conceptually mistaken for an another.

Similarly, the greenness of a particular apple (according to Plato’s Theory of Forms)may perceptually differ from the greenness of a particular plant; however, both forms of greenness partake from one eternal and non-changing Form: The Form Green.

The Form Green, again in accord with Plato’s Theory of Forms, provides for what makes any particular object in space and time identified as in effect green, despite its relative degree of greenness compared to other green objects (i.e., despite the differences exhibited among green objects in respect to shade, gradation, richness, darkness, lightness – all of which perceptually effect the final visual appearance of the greenness in a given Green Object etc.).

The Form Green itself is an Identity of its own, an identity that cannot possibly be mistaken conceptually for another. On the Conceptual Level, it is a unified Form, at peace with itself, and it cannot be divided, altered, or affected by perceptual differences in greenness exhibited among particular green objects in space and time, for such differences would not alter the fact that these objects are Fundamentally Green in their perceptual finalities. Otherwise, green-ness would not be associated at all with those objects.

There are other Forms, according to the Platonic logic revealed in Plato’s Theory of Forms, that account for perceptual variations among Green Objects, such as The Form Light, The Form Dark , The Form Rich, and The Form Gradient, etc.

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