Plato: A History Of His Life And Philosophies

2576 words - 10 pages

A famous man once said, "ideas are endless." This man has been worldly known for many years for his millions of ideas and philosophies. His successors and predecessors were forever referring to his work, and examining his theories. This Greek man's name was Plato. More important than the man himself, were the theories that he created. His work is still taught today and used around the world by people in their everyday lives. By examining things people will forever question, and have been asking since the beginning of time, Plato helps to give insight into the curious world around us. Plato had different theories on almost all aspects of life, but his most intriguing and important philosophies are those about life itself and things within it. All of Plato's theories tried to answer his ultimate question of, "what is life?" but mostly he helped define it by discussing his philosophies life and things within it, these were the philosophies on ideas themselves, the value of art in our lives, immortality, and love.Plato had very distinct views on the theory of ideas, or "forms." He constantly questioned change in the physical world. Eventually he combined Heraclites' theory that said that nothing is stable except the fact that things change, and Parmenides' theory, that said that change and motion were an illusion. Fundamentally, the question Plato asked himself was how to live a good life. He asked this to find his theory of why people have ideas. He shaped his theory in the answer of two parallel questions; what is justice in the State? Also, what is a just individual? First, Plato defined a State by four great virtues: courage, wisdom, temperance, and justice. He then discussed what justice in a state is, making his theory the first major, systematic expositions of abstract political theory. He was contemplating about the ideal republic, or doing utopian thinking. Plato also theorizes about what a just individual is. He divides human beings into three different categories. Those who are not courageous or bright are known as the "producers," because they are most suited for jobs such as farming and building. The producers make up an overwhelming majority of the state. Those who are fairly bright, strong, and have a high level of intelligence are called the, "auxiliaries," and are most suited for defensive jobs such as working with the police or the army. This category, according to Plato, makes a group smaller than the producers, but still a large number. The last category consists of the best and brightest individuals called the, "guardians." This group makes up a very small number of the State, and the individuals are most suited to positions involving running the state. In Plato's ideal state the auxiliaries obey the guardians. And the producer obeys the auxiliaries, and the guardians. A state is just when the auxiliaries enjoy obeying the guardians, and the producers enjoy obeying the higher groups. An individual is said to be just when the soul...

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