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Q1. Discuss between knowledge and belief according to Plato. How is it based on his metaphysics ? Explain.(2014/20)

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  • jaish

    Plato is well known for his theory of ideas. As per him, ideas are the universal and essential quality of particular class and it is transcendental in nature.
    As per Plato, knowledge is universal, eternal, unchangeable, objectively real and permanent in nature. And as per this concept, ideas are the real objects of knowledge because they are also eternal in nature not the worldly objects which are contingent in nature.
    Now, it is the Plato’s Magnum opus The Republic in which he has presented his views concerning the epistemology. As per this, there are four types of knowledge that is conjectural, practical, hypothetical and rational insight. Conjectural knowledge is the lowest form of knowledge. In fact it is not knowledge but it is mere appearance of that. Practical knowledge is the knowledge of world. Hypothetical knowledge is not final nor sensory or practical but it includes the knowledge of numbers and forms. In the platonic theory, rational insight is accepted as the highest form of knowledge.
    Belief according to Plato is not knowledge. For example, if our conscience intuitively believes in a certain things and it cannot lay down the reasons for such beliefs, then it cannot be called as the knowledge of reason. But why it is so? Because knowledge is not instinctive beliefs but it is a complete understanding. It is not based on faith but on reason. Beliefs can be changed by arousing emotion but knowledge cannot be changed.
    Ideas of good: It is the highest idea in the hierarchy of the ideas. According to Plato, it is the highest reality. To know is to be: Knowledge is true ultimately because it is knowledge of what is. Plato believed that it is not enough to know the truth but person must become the truth. This is where Platos’s epistemology becomes the metaphysics.