Talk:Theory of Forms

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Italicized title[edit]

Hi there guys. Shouldn't the title of Theory of Forms be italicized? Isn't it a standalone work, like a book? Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Titles#Italics And by the way, it seems that Allegory of the Cave should be in quotes because they're basically chapters in a book, Republic. Right? I'm a passerby and I just thought I'd check to see if someone knew something that I didn't. Thanks. — Smuckola (Email) (Talk) 15:20, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

No. There is no writing, "Theory of Forms," unless perchance some modern philosophy book, and the allegory is not a chapter. It is just in there. These are modern names of ideas. The work is Republic. Pass on, pass on, with hope in your heart, and you'll never pass alone, you'll never pass alone.Botteville (talk) 02:17, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

Finished removing unreferenced material[edit]

"Many other principles of the ideal state are expressed: the activities of the populace are to be confined to their occupation and only one occupation is allowed (only the philosophers may be generalists). The citizens must not meddle in affairs that are not their business, such as legislation and administration (a hit at democracy). Wealth is to be allowed to the tradesmen only."

Brianhe contacted me concerning the first half of this paragraph, which he had removed as unreferenced. You did not, you said, Brianhe, remember any such thing from your course on Plato. Then you said you were contacting me in case I wanted to put it back. I see you are a long-standing user so you deserve an appropriate answer.

Well, I wish I could tell you what the situation was several years ago but I cannot remember. But, in a way, it does not matter. You chose to take it to me and I also am a long-standing editor with a few privileges. Strictly as a minor point, it does not look like my work. Like everyone else, however, I had to start somewhere so I am sure I had some dumb comments to make, just like everyone else. There are some other things wrong with it as well. It is definitely WP-editor-opinionated. Moreover, the whole paragraph seems off-topic at this point. We are talking theory of forms in this article, not the minor irrelevant points of the republic.

What I do not understand is why you did not just remove the entire paragraph. The whole thing is unreferenced, not just half of it. Second, what you do or do not remember from a distant course in Plato has no bearing at all and should not be used as a criterion for adding or deleting anything. But, that is irrelevant, as we have plenty of WP reasons to take it out. I suppose you wanted to talk to me. OK, here I am, talk.Botteville (talk) 02:01, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

Call to Discussion about Improving and Expanding this Article[edit]

Hi, may I make a proposal for improving this article and invite comments and suggestions, esp. from past contributors? I’d like to retain much of the already good material but substantially broaden the article. I would in part follow and translate the long and comprehensive version of this article in the German Wikipedia, which has been rated excellent.

I’ve been making small contributions to philosophy/classics articles for about two years and have joined Wikiprojects: philosophy. This article has been rated start-class for some time. It could do a better job of conveying both the pro and con sides of the debate. I have a good grasp of the high points at least of the scholarly literature and feel:

  • that the introductory paragraphs could offer a simpler, gentler entry to the subject,
  • that the main arguments for the Forms should be better surveyed,
  • that the shape of recent, academic debates is hardly touched upon,
  • that the theory's role in later history, art, and literature is under-served, etc.

Herewith a draft outline of the proposed revision. The first 5 sections are pretty straight philosophy. The rest would more briefly step through some historical episodes, and perhaps mainly provide short discussions and links to other articles. How does this look?

  1. Introduction: gentler, user-friendly
  2. Basic Outline of the Theory: appearance-reality distinction, participation, etc.
  3. Motivations and Arguments for the Forms: One over Many, etc.
  4. Criticism of the Forms: Parmenides, Aristotle, Nominalism, etc.
  5. Contemporary Debate: Third Man, Philosophy of Math, etc.
  6. The Role of the Forms in Plato’s Dialogues: key passages
  7. The Forms in the Early Academy: Aristotle, Speusippus, ‘late ontology,’ etc.
  8. Reception: Ancient, Medieval, and Early Modern: brief with links to other articles
  9. Influence on Science and Maths
  10. Influence on Religion: Christian Theology, etc.
  11. Influence on Art, Art Theory, and Literature: Panofsky's book, Renaissance theory, allegory

What do you think? Suggestions for improvement are welcome! If all goes well, I’m geeky enough to think making this small contribution would be a fun diversion during the coming holidays and I would work on it occasionally over the next month or two. JohnD'Alembert (talk) 08:59, 8 December 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for your thanks! I'll start on a draft and update things here in January. JohnD'Alembert (talk) 12:49, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

Progress Report[edit]

Hi, I am making good progress and hope to finish in some weeks: harder than I thought! JohnD'Alembert (talk) 10:39, 1 February 2016 (UTC)