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Plato's Idealism, Realism, and Republic

            It is generally agreed upon that Plato was one of the greatest philosophers of his time. His philosophy on religion shaped the way many people thought and lead their lives. Plato’s writings were very influential to the people of his time. This said, it would be interesting and important to know just where Plato himself looked to find what he believed in. Plato had two major ways of thinking that contrast each other: an idealism and a realism. Among Plato’s great writings, the Republic stands out as one of his greatest. In this dialogue, we can see where his ideas on idealism and realism originate by relating the beliefs in his stories to the beliefs of other religions or cults of his time. Plato’s idealism and realism are ways of thinking that were influenced separately by other religions. What ways of thinking of Plato’s time could have influenced his philosophy and what he believed in? What gives away the fact that these ways of thinking have anything to do with Plato’s ideas? Plato’s idealism was influenced by Orphic cults; his realism was influenced by Greek religion, and the Republic shows how Plato was dedicated to each of these thoughts.
             To Plato there are two worlds, two areas of reality that contained everything in existence. There is the physical or visible world, which is confined to the human senses and contains the appearance of real objects and things. In this world there are only the shadows of what is actually real perceived by human existence. There is the intelligible world, which is confined to thought and contains natural images of thought and Forms. In this world the perfection of things of nature and natural things exist. This metaphysical dualism is a way of relating that which humans can sense to a reality beyond what is perceptible to the senses. In that way, the two worlds are “objective to and independent of the human mind” .

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