Many historians believe that Greek philosophy has formed the Western world. The most outstanding philosophers of that time had a considerable impact on the political, economic, cultural and social life of Greece. Nowadays, their works became the handbooks of the governor who strictly followed the concepts. Nowadays, these works still are still unsurpassed masterpieces of literature. One of the founders of Greek ancient thought was Plato whose works became the handbooks of many modern philosophers and scientists.
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A brief biography of Plato
Plato was born in Athens, in 428 B. C (Copleston, Frederick 2003 p. 127). He was brought in the home of his stepfather being of aristocratic origin that greatly influenced his further political outlooks. Plato received a diligent cultural education and his life went on in the period of prosperity of Athenian culture. His teacher became Socrates whose philosophic outlook he supported. Plato travelled a lot and visited many countries such as Italy, Sicily, Egypt and he was forty when returned home. While travelling he studied the political systems of the countries. On his return from the journey, Plato founded his own Academy in 388 that was considered as the first European University. (Copleston, Frederick 2003 p. 129). The studies included a wide range of disciplines and the philosophy was one of them. Mathematics gained the high status among the Greeks and had an apparent practical application. In the Academy, Plato conducted lectures that, unfortunately, were not officially published and were partially preserved in his pupils’ notes. Plato’s pupil was Aristotle who inherited and developed the teacher’s ideas.
Plato wrote many philosophical dialogues where he expressed his ideas on political and cultural life of Greece. In his dialogues written in the form of conversation, his teacher Socrates was main participant of the dialogues (Benn, Alfred William 2008 p. 214). His most famous works were closely connected with ethics, politics, metaphysics, as well as human life. In his dialogues Plato argued that material world was unreal world and only part of could relate to reality. In other words, the philosopher regarded the material objects and events as shadows. In ethical learning, he discussed the problem of father and son as he viewed everything from the parental angle. Thus, he compared his considered his relationships with Socrates as relationships of father and son.
The most outstanding works of the philosopher
“Republic” and “Law” are considered to the most significant works in philosopher’s life since Plato paid much attention to the state and governmental system. (Pappas, Nickolas 2003 p. 3). Like Socrates, Plato classified the society into the three groups namely, Rulers of Philosopher Kings, Warriors or Guardians, and Workers. The most privileged class was the class of philosopher who possessed exclusive virtues as wisdom, intelligence, and rationality. Due to the fact that Plato had aristocratic roots, he rejected the principles of democracy in his ideal city. In addition, he insists that it is better to be governed by a tyrant rather to accept democracy. Consequently, his Plato’s imaginary city differed from Socrates’ one who believed that the actual city should be inhabited by artisans, merchants, and farmers.
In conclusion, Plato, known as the greatest mind in the Greece mythology, played an important role in shaping of Greece’s ancient thought. His power of thought and writing permits us to refer him as to the founder of all sciences. He was also a co-founder of such science as politics where he was first to classify the types of political systems.
Benn, Alfred William Greek philosophers. Charleston: BiblioBazaar, 2008.
Copleston, Frederick A history of philosophy. Great Britain: Continuum International Publishing Group, 2003.
Pappas, Nickolas Routledge philosophy guidebook to Plato and the Republic. London: Routledge, 2003.