Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Plato’s Theory Of Forms

Proposal that things contain transcendent Forms, otherwise known as Platonic essences, universals and paradigms. Forms are nonmaterial, abstract (nonmental), eternal, changeless, real, and independent of the objects themselves. Proposed by Plato (c. 427- c. 347 BCE), who himself criticized this early thinking in his later works (Parmenides); nevertheless, his argument either influenced, or reflected, human tendencies toward typological thinking.

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