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Plato's Levels of Understanding

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Written by   187
11 months ago


The Greek philosopher Plato used the concept of a divided line to explain the four levels of comprehending the truth or FORMS. Let us apply it to the way we make sense of books.

LEVEL 1 shadows of real things (second-hand information) - when you watch a film version of the book or form your opinion on the basis of the critical reviews you have read.

LEVEL 2 originals of shadows (first-hand information) - when you actually get around to reading the book and can directly perceive it.

LEVEL 3 assumptions arising from perception and the first conclusions you arrive at having pondered over the text you are reading (reasoning)

LEVEL 4 when you grasp the essence, the self-sufficient fundamental principle of the book (enlightenment)

What is the usual level you comprehend books at? How often do you manage to surpass reasoning and move into the enlightenment stage when the book completely unfolds before you and you see it in full sunshine?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments field below and we will be happy to reply.

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Photo by Patrick Selin on Unsplash (Thank you, Unsplash! I love you!)

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Written by   187
11 months ago
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