Knowledge, Belief and the forms

  • R. C. Cross
  • A. D. Woozley


As we have seen, Plato, in order to distinguish between the philosopher and the non-philosopher, draws a distinction between knowledge and belief, and in doing this he makes a twofold distinction between, on the one hand, two different states of mind, and on the other between two different sets of objects corresponding to these different states of mind. The philosopher’s state of mind is knowledge and its objects are Beauty itself, Justice itself, and so on (i.e. the Forms); the non-philosopher’s state of mind is belief and its objects are the many particular things, just acts and so on. We ought now to ask ourselves whether there is in fact a distinction to be drawn between knowledge and belief, and if there is, whether Plato’s way of representing the distinction is satisfactory.


True Belief Direct Object Greek Word Ideal Standard Direct Acquaintance 
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Copyright information

© R. C. Cross and A. D. Woozley 1964

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. C. Cross
    • 1
  • A. D. Woozley
    • 2
  1. 1.University of AberdeenUK
  2. 2.University of VirginiaUSA

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