Plato – Apology

The term form refers to an abstract quality or property. To contemplate about an object, one needs to take any property of a given object, and separate it from the object (consider it as a different entity from the object). For instance, if we separate the roundness of a basketball from other properties such as the weight and color, and consider the roundness as a different entity, then we would be thinking of the roundness form of the ball (Pojman 187). According to Plato, this property exists separately from the basketball, in an entirely different existence mode that the basketball. Therefore, the form is not a mere idea of roundness in the mind. It exists independently from the basketball and individual thinking of it. It then follows that all round objects, including basketball, copy or participates in this form of roundness. To enhance our understanding of the difference between the properties of forms and those of material objects, there is need to examine the first two properties of forms. Forms are transcendent, that is, they do not exist in time and space. However, a material object, like a basketball, exists in time and space. The roundness of a form does not exist at any particular time or place, thus forms subsist in different ways. This is important as it explains the unchanging property of forms. The roundness property of a basketball will never change: it remains the same at all places and times of instantiation. The form of roundness in present in many spatial locations, and the property or roundness would remain even after the destruction of all round objects (192).
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