Plato: Today And Tomorrow Essay

745 words - 3 pages

Plato was a Greek philosopher whose ideas impacted the intellectual and cultural life of the Middle Ages. Christian, Jewish and Islamic scholars studied Plato although most had limited access to his works. Plato’s works were composed of dialogues, which are conversations between many characters that discussed the topics of justice, truth, love and knowledge. (Jordan. 1996)
Plato was born in Athens in 427 B.C. in the beginning of the Peloponnesian War. (Darity Jr. 2008) His family was one of the oldest and well respected in Athens. As a young man, Plato wanted to become a politician. In 404 B.C., a group of wealthy men, including two of his relatives established themselves as the dictators of Athens, and this group offered Plato to join them in their tyranny. He refused because of their cruel and unethical practices. In 403 B.C, the Athenians overtook the dictators and established a democracy. Plato soon reconsidered politics, but he refused again when his friend and mentor, Socrates, was put on trial and sentenced to death in 399 B.C.. Plato left Athens to travel to Egypt, Syracuse in Sicily and many other places for many years. In Plato’s return, he returned to Athens and founded a school of philosophy and science that became known as the Academy in 387 B.C.. This school was one f the first centers for higher education. (Soll. 2014) Among one of Plato’s students was Aristotle. Later in life, Plato traveled to Syracuse to be an influence on a new young king, Dionysius II, but in Plato’s efforts, it failed. Later, Plato died in Athens in 347 B.C. at the age of about 81. (Darity Jr. 2008)
Many of Plato’s works or dialogues recognized the nature of some philosophically important ideas by defining them. Some of his major dialogues include: the Euthyphro which revolves around the debatable question, “What is piety?” the main question in The Republic, “What is justice?” the Theatetus tries to define knowledge, the Charmides discusses freedom and the Laches talks about courage. (Soll. 2014) Plato’s philosophy has been controversial throughout the years especially during the Middle Ages. Many found Plato’s belief of the idea that people can arrive at an understanding of life and the universe...

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