SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Platonic realism

Platonic realism is the philosophical position that universals or abstract objects exist objectively and outside of human minds. It is named after the Greek philosopher Plato who applied realism to such universals, which he considered ideal forms; this stance is ambiguously called Platonic idealism but should not be confused with idealism as presented by philosophers such as George Berkeley: as Platonic abstractions are not spatial, temporal, or mental, they are not compatible with the idealism's emphasis on mental existence. Plato's Forms include geometrical figures, making them a theory of mathematical realism. Plato expounded his own articulation of realism regarding the existence of universals in his dialogue The Republic and elsewhere, notably in the Phaedo, the Phaedrus, the Meno and the Parmenides. In Platonic realism, universals do not exist in the way that ordinary physical objects exist though Plato metaphorically referred to such objects in order to explain his concepts. More modern versions of the theory seek to avoid applying misleading descriptions to universals.

Instead, such versions maintain that it is meaningless to apply the categories of space and time to universals. Regardless of their description, Platonic realism holds that universals do exist in a broad, abstract sense, although not at any spatial or temporal distance from people's bodies. Thus, people cannot see or otherwise come into sensory contact with universals, but in order to conceive of universals, one must be able to conceive of these abstract forms. Theories of universals, including Platonic realism, are challenged to satisfy certain constraints on theories of universals. Platonic realism satisfies one of those constraints, in that it is a theory of what general terms refer to. Forms are ideal in supplying meaning to referents for general terms; that is, to understand terms such as wikt:applehood and redness, Platonic realism says that they refer to forms. Indeed, Platonism gets much of its plausibility because mentioning redness, for example, could be assumed to be referring to something, apart from space and time, but which has lots of specific instances.

Some contemporary linguistic philosophers construe "Platonism" to mean the proposition that universals exist independently of particulars. A form of modern Platonism is found in the predominant philosophy of mathematics regarding the foundations of mathematics; the Platonic interpretation of this philosophy includes the thesis that mathematics is discovered rather than created. Plato's interpretation of universals is linked to his Theory of Forms in which he uses both the terms εἶδος and ἰδέα to describe his theory. Forms are mind independent abstract objects or paradigms of which particular objects and the properties and relations present in them are copies. Form is inherent in the particulars and these are said to participate in the form. Classically idea has been translated as "idea," but secondary literature now employs the term "form" to avoid confusion with the English word connoting "thought". Platonic form can be illustrated by contrasting a material triangle with an ideal triangle; the Platonic form is the ideal triangle — a figure with drawn lines whose angles add to 180 degrees.

Any form of triangle that we experience will be an imperfect representation of the ideal triangle. Regardless of how precise your measuring and drawing tools you will never be able to recreate this perfect shape. Drawn to the point where our senses cannot perceive a defect, in its essence the shape will still be imperfect; some versions of Platonic realism, like that of Proclus, regard Plato's forms as thoughts in the mind of God. Most consider forms not to be mental entities at all. In Platonic realism, forms are related to particulars in that a particular is regarded as a copy of its form. For example, a particular apple is said to be a copy of the form of applehood and the apple's redness is an instance of the form of Redness. Participation is another relationship between particulars. Particulars are said to participate in the forms, the forms are said to inhere in the particulars. According to Plato, there are some forms that are not instantiated at all, but, he contends, that does not imply that the forms could not be instantiated.

Forms are capable of being instantiated by many different particulars, which would result in the forms' having many copies, or inhering many particulars. Two main criticisms with Platonic realism relate to inherence and the difficulty of creating concepts without sense perception. Despite these criticisms, realism has strong defenders, its popularity through the centuries has been variable. Critics claim that the terms "instantiation" and "copy" are not further defined and that participation and inherence are mysterious and unenlightening, they question what it means to say that the form of applehood inheres a particular apple or that the apple is a copy of the form of applehood. To the critic, it seems that the forms, not being spatial, cannot have a shape, so it cannot be that the apple is the same shape as the form; the critic claims it is unclear what it means to say that an apple participates in applehood. Arguments refuting the inherence criticism, claim that a form of something spatial can lack a concrete location and yet have in abstracto spatia

William Prest (Cambridgeshire cricketer)

William Pitt Prest was an English cricketer who played for Cambridge University, Cambridge Town Club and other amateur teams between 1850 and 1862. He was born at Stapleford and died at East Molesey, Surrey. Prest was educated for a year only at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge; as a cricketer, he played in the Eton v Harrow match in both 1849 and 1850 and made his first-class debut for a Gentlemen of England team in August 1850, taking four wickets in the game. At Cambridge University in 1851 he had limited success as a bowler and as a batsman, he was not picked for the University Match against Oxford University, he reappeared for the Gentlemen of England in a single match in 1852, but disappeared from senior cricket for five years. In 1852, having left Cambridge, Prest bought himself into the army, joining the 6th Regiment of Foot as an ensign and being promoted the following year to lieutenant, he left the army in 1857 and returned to Cambridge where he played cricket irregularly up to 1862 for the Cambridge Town Club and for the Cambridgeshire team, at that stage one of the leading county sides.

Prest's brother Edward played first-class cricket and appeared for Cambridge University in 1850, the year before William did

Volucella inflata

Volucella inflata is a large species of European hoverfly. V. inflata is a short-haired fly. Though a little smaller than most European species of Volucella, typical body length is 12–15 mm and wing length is 11–13 mm; the thorax is black with orange margins, the scutellum is orange with light-coloured hairs at the apex. The abdomen is black, with the exception of dark orange brown patches on the second tergite, it is found in deciduous forests with mature trees, though has been known to venture into domestic gardens. Adults fly from May to July and feed on nectar from flowers from umbellifers. Larvae inhabit social insect nests; this fly is local over much of Europe, being found from Sweden and northern Germany, the Pyrenees and northern Spain, eastwards through Central Europe into European Russia and the Caucasus, the former Yugoslavia and Bulgaria