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The Philosopher Plato: His Life and Times Essay


Biography

Plato’s real name was Aristocles, son of Ariston. It is a Greek name that means wide or broad. He could have attained the name because of the nature of his forehead or because of his extensive knowledge. His mother was called Perictione, and his father was Ariston.

Most people believe that his birth occurred between 424 and 423 or 428 and 427 B.C.E. He was a philosopher and a mathematician in classical Greece. He contributed significantly to the introduction of Western education and science (Barrow 120-180).

Due to the wealth and political influence of his family, his father gave him the best education. He learnt gymnastics, music, and philosophy. He went to receive teachings from some of the best teachers.

He was a brilliant boy in his class. He attended philosophy classes and happened to meet Cratylus. Another great influence, especially in mathematics, came from Pythagoras. He learnt some of his philosophical ideas about the soul from him.

He started the first university of Philosophy in Greece called Academus. Many intellectuals, including Aristotle, became his students (Herman 250-300).

In his later life, Plato spent much of his time in Syracuse. He taught Philosophy to Dion of Syracuse. He could not continue because they differed with the king. When they gave him up to slavery, a colleague rescued him and sent him back home. Some sources explicitly state that Plato died in his sleep. They indicate that he died in 428 B.C.E. His remains lay on his Academy grounds (Nails 170-250).

Context

Plato taught that in order to find answers, people must ask questions. He encouraged people not to rely so much on other people’s work. It is in this perspective that Plato’s work only seeks to help the reader to think but not to assimilate his mind (Proffitt 100-150). A good number of his dialogues do not reach any definite conclusion, and that leaves people to think and provide arguments.

Plato concentrated on highlighting the ideal forms of life. He also looked at the daily experiences of life to give a formidable solution. The Republic is his most famous work. He foresees a civilization where society must accept the leadership of a king who is a philosopher.

In the Republic and the Phaedrus, Plato presents a tripartite soul. The Appetitive appeals to one’s appetites, the spirited appeals to one’s ego, and the rational appeals to the desire to make a wise choice. The Academus School became his primary achievement.

In the Theory of Forms, there are two distinct levels of reality. One reality examines the world that one can see and or hear. The second is the intelligible world of Forms. When one looks at a beautiful picture, one already has at the back of one’s mind the conception of beauty in the abstract.

Philosophy deals with the intellect. The intellectual issues have proven to be the best source of understanding life than art and mythology. Plato mentions education in both the Republic and the Laws. He proposes that parents must take their children to school. Politics thrills him because of corruption and power struggles. The world came to accept him as one of the greatest thinkers.

Reflection

Plato’s dialogues give ethical living a high degree of life satisfaction. Philosophy can lead people to understand themselves better. The questioning and arguments present a moral ground to seek for answers.

Plato was one of the best geniuses of his time. Kings could consult him for wisdom and teachings. He raised another excellent model of the theory called Aristotle, who continued with his work.

Response

One discovers that Plato did a lot to strengthen and to revive moral and philosophical ideas. His dialogues enable one to think through and get rational ideas. Education is the first step to attaining a glorious ending. It means focusing on the well-being of the next generation.

The ethical ideas on the invisible and the visible world help one to connect with nature well. When one appeals to the intellect, one can quickly reach the visible world and make significant advancements in life. From the study, one becomes aware of one’s moral views. He argues that what is good must come from a good person.

One becomes aware of personal views with certainty. The study opens up one’s thinking about one’s well being. It is applicable even in contemporary society.

His philosophical work must continue for various reasons. One is that the foundation of modern education depends highly on his work. He trained others like Aristotle, who continued to advance on his work. Parents should support their children to attain education to the highest level.

His contribution to mathematics through Pythagoras was a great achievement for modern education. He, therefore, joins the list of people who have contributed significantly to philosophy, as well as modern society. His work has earned a status in the community and appreciation from most of the schools of thought.

Works Cited

Barrow, Robin. Plato. London: Continuum, 2007. Print.

Herman, Arthur. The Cave And The Light. New York: Random House, 2013. Print.

Nails, Debra. The People Of Plato. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Pub., 2002. Print.

Proffitt, Brian. Plato Within Your Grasp. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Pub., 2004. Print.

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IvyPanda. (2020, May 4). The Philosopher Plato: His Life and Times. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-philosopher-plato-his-life-and-times/

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"The Philosopher Plato: His Life and Times." IvyPanda, 4 May 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/the-philosopher-plato-his-life-and-times/.

1. IvyPanda. "The Philosopher Plato: His Life and Times." May 4, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-philosopher-plato-his-life-and-times/.


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IvyPanda. "The Philosopher Plato: His Life and Times." May 4, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-philosopher-plato-his-life-and-times/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "The Philosopher Plato: His Life and Times." May 4, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-philosopher-plato-his-life-and-times/.

References

IvyPanda. (2020) 'The Philosopher Plato: His Life and Times'. 4 May.

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