Notes on Sophie's World

I've been surprised by Plato, he sounds very ibn irabi–esque to me. (although he came way before). I wonder what part, if any, did Arabs play in inculcating personal bias into Platos work, cough. or vice versa.

• Did Plato really believe that alternate forms of us existed in a completely different reality?
• Can we never have true knowledge of anything that is in a constant state of change? “We can only have opinions about things that belong to the world of the senses, tangible things. We can only have true knowledge of things that can be understood with our reason.” (Gaarder)

Plato believed that reality is divided into two regions:

One region is the world of the senses, about which one can only have approximate or incomplete knowledge by using our five (approximate or incomplete) senses. In this sensory world, ‘everything flows’ and nothing is permanent. Nothing in the sensory world is, there are only things that come to be and pass away.
The other region is the world of ideas, about which we can have true knowledge by using our reason. This world of ideas can’t be perceived by the senses, but the ideas (or forms) are eternal and immutable.

According to Plato, man is a dual creature. We have a body that “flows,” is inseparably bound to the world of the senses, and is subject to the same fate as everything else in this world – a soap bubble, for example. [..] But we also have an immortal soul – and this soul is the realm of reason. And not being physical, the soul can survey, the world of ideas.

Plato also believed that the soul existed before it inhabited the body. But as soon as the soul wakes up inside the human body, it has forgotten all the perfect ideas. ( hello, we’ll remember our covenant on the day of judgement??) Then something starts to happen. As the human being discovers the various forms in the natural world, a vague recollection stirs his soul. Plato call this yearning Eros – which means love. The soul, then experiences a ‘longing to return to its true origin.” From now on, the body and the whole sensory world is experienced as imperfect and insignificant/. The soul yearns to fly home on the wings of love to the world of ideas. It longs to be freed from the chains of the body. (85-88, Gaarder).