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Plato’s Visions of Beauty and Déjà vu Essay


The discussion of reality with all its objects and forms as an illusion is typical for Plato who proposed the Parable of the Cave in his work The Republic. This allegory is important not only to discuss the illusory nature of the reality but also to focus on such concepts as beauty and déjà vu in relation to Plato’s point of view (The Republic).

Thus, the question is in the nature of reality as full of objects or forms perceived not by the senses, but by the people’s mind. From this point, beauty can be discussed as the attribute of things and as the independent form, and déjà vu is the example of the reality as illusion because the life is only the reflection of the previous experiences sometimes represented as the phenomenon of déjà vu.

Déjà vu is the complex process which makes a person think that not a similar, but the same situation was experienced earlier. Experiencing déjà vu, a person becomes to realize that he or she knows what can happen in the future because this situation was experienced before.

The feeling of familiarity is so strong that all the associated features and details seem to be well-known. The person can recognize the same tastes, smells, emotions, hear and say the same words. In spite of the fact déjà vu can be experienced only during several seconds, the whole moment is often incredibly vivid, and this fact makes the person consider about the possibilities to experience the same situation earlier.

Déjà vu provides an impression that the same situations and circumstances were the part of the person’s previous life which is rather difficult to remember and recollect. The phenomenon of déjà vu can be discussed with references to Plato. The philosopher developed the idea of déjà vu as the preconscious condition based on the Theory of Recollection discussed in Phaedo and The Republic (Phaedo; The Republic).

The Theory of Recollection focuses on the idea that the person has the fundamental knowledge which was received even before the person’s birth. This knowledge can become the source of déjà vu. As a result, déjà vu is the recollection of the forms or ideas which represent the reality in the form of the preexistent knowledge. If the person learnt about the experienced situations long ago, the time can be also discussed as the illusion, and only the phenomenon of déjà vu provides the information about reality.

Nevertheless, not only déjà vu is associated with the illusion of reality and the
Allegory of the Cave. The concept of Beauty itself as an idea, but not as an object is also the product of the people’s mind, but the sensory perceptions. This idea is correlated with the vision of Descartes of the role of sensory experience in studying the world (Descartes). If the beauty of objects is perceived with the help of the people’s sight, Beauty itself is the idea which can be judged and considered with references to the human mind and intellectual abilities (Apology Crito and Phaedo of Socrates).

From this perspective, Beauty itself is ideal in its form. The main qualities of Beauty itself are its ideal character of a form as an idea, thus, it is the essence of beauty. As a result, Beauty itself as the Form of Beauty has a lot of similarities with the nature of love. It is the essence which exists in spite of the objects, time, and space. If beautiful things are perceived as beautiful and concrete basing on the human senses, Beauty itself can be only felt, but not perceived because it can be everywhere, without focusing on the definite object.

These ideas are discussed by Plato in his works The Symposium and The Republic, and they are correlated with the reality as illusion and with the vision of forms as ideas which are already known by people (Symposium and Phaedrus; The Republic). Thus, if the essence of Beauty is associated with its form as an idea, this concept is closely connected with déjà vu.

The experience of déjà vu can shed light on the qualities of Beauty itself because it is the form or idea, and déjà vu is experienced when the person realizes the forms which are known. Furthermore, the realization of Beauty itself can provoke the déjà vu reaction as well as the beautiful objects can also evoke emotions and definite déjà vu reactions. Beauty itself can be discussed as the universal existence, and the experience of déjà vu as the recollection of the previously accepted knowledge can emphasize the qualities of Beauty as the form.

In his works, Plato discusses the reality which can be studied with the help of senses or mind. Beauty itself can be studied only with the help of mind as the form or idea. That is why, it is correlated with the phenomenon of déjà vu which is the recollection of the previously known forms.

Works Cited

Descartes, Rene. Meditations on First Philosophy. USA: Cambridge University Press, 1996. Print.

Plato. Apology Crito and Phaedo of Socrates. USA: Echo Library, 2006. Print.

—. Phaedo. USA: Echo Library, 2006. Print.

—. Symposium and Phaedrus. USA: Cosimo, Inc., 2010. Print.

—. The Republic. USA: Cambridge University Press, 2000. Print.

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IvyPanda. (2018, December 24). Plato’s Visions of Beauty and Déjà vu. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/platos-visions-of-beauty-and-deja-vu/

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"Plato’s Visions of Beauty and Déjà vu." IvyPanda, 24 Dec. 2018, ivypanda.com/essays/platos-visions-of-beauty-and-deja-vu/.

1. IvyPanda. "Plato’s Visions of Beauty and Déjà vu." December 24, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/platos-visions-of-beauty-and-deja-vu/.


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IvyPanda. "Plato’s Visions of Beauty and Déjà vu." December 24, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/platos-visions-of-beauty-and-deja-vu/.

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IvyPanda. 2018. "Plato’s Visions of Beauty and Déjà vu." December 24, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/platos-visions-of-beauty-and-deja-vu/.

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IvyPanda. (2018) 'Plato’s Visions of Beauty and Déjà vu'. 24 December.

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