Plato: The Great Philosopher Essay

1031 words - 5 pages

Plato was born in Athens, Greece circa 428 B.C (school). His birth name was Aristocles, but he was given the name Plato because of his physique. His family had a history of studying politics and he was encouraged to proceed his studies in the same subject area. He began studying at a Dionysus and a gymnasium in Ariston of Argos (school). As an adolescent he began studying music and poetry. According to Aristotle, he developed the fundamentals of metaphysics and epistemology. He was greatly influenced by the works of Parmenides and Pythagoras in the meantime he also studied the doctrines of Cratylus (school). These artists had much influence in the life of Plato in his youth however it was not until the meeting with Socrates that Plato began to gain a love for philosophy. Socrates was Plato’s tutor and a well-known eloquent speaker in the community. His philosophies inspired many earlier works of Plato.
Plato served sometime in the military during the Peloponnesian War in 409 to 404 BC (school). After the termination of War he joined the Athenian Oligarchy of the Thirty Tyrants, where one of his uncles served as the leader (school). After a short time period Plato abandoned the Oligarchy due to the barbaric acts of fellow troops. In 403 BC, Plato pursued his original objective to pursue a career in politics like his father would have wanted for him. Not long after Plato developed a more personable relationship with Socrates, Socrates was executed. Following the death of Socrates he began following the friends of Socrates traveling to Megara, Cyrene, and Egypt (school). Many philosophers believe that Socrates, Plato’s mentor, was also the individual that convinced him to pursue other career goals outside of politics to focus on writing and education so it came to no surprise that he wanted to departure his career. Plato was quite fond of his educational sessions with Socrates so when he began to write it was almost certain that he would mention Socrates. After all, Socrates had the most influence on this young philosopher and was quite an influential person in his life. Many philosophers were also not surprised to learn that the early writings of Socrates reflected the viewpoints of Socrates. In fact, the early literary works of Plato reflected so much of the philosophies of Socrates that he was the main character in much of his literature. For example, in The Republic, Socrates is the focal point in which he must prove that justice is good, desirable, that it is more than conventional, that it is connected to the objective standards of morality (SparkNotes). In The Republic the primary goal of the story was to explicate the belief of political justice then stem a parallel idea of individual justice (SparkNotes). Plato describes justice as a structure that lies within the inner presence of a person. He then explains that in a society there are three classes of people: procedures, auxiliaries, and guardians (SparkNotes). He also argues that the...

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