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Short Biography of Plato

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Plato (c.428-347 BC) was a Greek philosopher, pupil of Socrates, teacher of Aristotle, and founder of the Academy.

He was the author of philosophical dialogues on such topics as metaphysics, ethics, and politics. Central to his teachings is the notion of Forms, which are located outside the everyday world, timeless, motionless, and absolutely real.

His philosophy has influenced Christianity and European culture, directly and through Augustine, the Florentine Platonists during the Renaissance, and countless others.

Born of a noble family, he entered politics on the aristocratic side, and in philosophy became a follower of Socrates. He travelled widely after Socrates's death, and founded the educational establishment, the Academy, in order to train a new ruling class.

Of his wor k, some 30 dialogues survive, intended for performance either to his pupils or to the public. The principal figure in these ethical and philosophical debates is Socrates and the early ones employ the Socratic method, in which he asks questions and traps the students into contradicting themselves: for example, Iron, on poetry. Other dialogues include the Symposium, on love, Phaedo, on immortality, and Apology and Crito, on Socrates' trial and death.

It is impossible to say whether Plato's Socrates is a faithful representative of the real man or an articulation of Plato's own thought. Plato's philosophy rejects scientific rationalism (establishing facts through experiment) in favour of arguments, because mind, not matter, is fundamental, and material objects are merely imperfect copies of abstract and eternal "ideas". His political philosophy is expounded in two treatises, The Republic and The Laws, both of which describe ideal states.

Tags: philosopher, founder, metaphysics, ethics, aristocratic, rationalism

Category: Others  - ( Others Archive)

Date Added: 31 May '12

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