A Life Sketch of Plato and His Works

905 Words Apr 15th, 2005 4 Pages
If Thales was the first of all the great Greek philosophers, Plato must remain the best known of all the Greeks. The original name of this Athenian aristocrat was Aristiclis, but in his school days he received the nickname "Platon" (meaning "broad") because of his broad shoulders.

Plato was born in Athens, Greece to one of the oldest and most distinguished families in the city. He lived with his mother, Perictione, and his father, Ariston (Until Ariston died.)
Born in an aristocratic and rich family, Plato 's childhood was indulged within luxury. But his life changed when he came across Socrates. Socrates, a Greek philosopher who lived from 470-399 BC. He devoted all his time with young citizens discussing philosophy and questioning
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Plato 's school is often described at the first European university. Its curriculum offered subjects including astronomy, biology, mathematics, political theory, and philosophy. Plato hoped the Academy would provide a place where thinkers could work toward better government in the Grecian cities. The period from 387 to 361 BC is often called Plato 's "middle" or transitional period. It is thought that he may have written the Meno, Euthydemus, Menexenus, Cratylus, Repuglic, Phaedrus, Syposium and Phaedo during this time. The major difference between these texts and his earlier works is that he tends toward grander metaphysical themes and begins to establish his own voice in philosophy. Socrates still has a presence, however, sometimes as a fictional character. In the Meno for example, Plato writes of the Socratic idea that no one knowingly does wrong, and adds the new doctrine of recollection questioning whether virtue can be taught. In the Phaedo, the Platonic doctrine of the Forms, in which Plato makes claims as to the immortality of the human soul. The middle dialogues also reveal Plato 's method of hypothesis.

Plato 's most influential work, The Republic, is also a part of his middle dialogues. It is a discussion of the virtues of justice, courage, wisdom, and moderation, of the individual and in society. The Republic is a detailed discussion on Plato 's political theories and the nature of justice.
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