Plato 's Views On Socrates

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The most significant writings on Socrates came from one of his own disciples, Plato. Plato’s writings are the reason Socrates is historical figure he is today, without them Socrates would have been nothing more than a minor presence (Navia 93). Plato’s writings are classified as either early, middle, or late. However, only the early writings best portray the real Socrates (Navia 105). These writings include the Euthyphro, Crito, Phaedo, and most importantly the Apology, which discusses the trial and execution of Socrates. Similarly Xenophon’s dialogue of the same name also discusses the same subject. While both authors demonstrate similar positions defending Socrates, their approach to their discussion varies significantly. Even though it is not known how close of a relationship Plato and Socrates had, it is very obvious that Socrates played a major role in influencing philosophy into the life of Plato. Plato was born in Aegina on 427 BCE and ultimately died in Athens in his school, The Academy, on 347 BCE (Navia 95). He had two older brothers Glaucon and Adeimantus, and a half brother, Antiphon, who were also students of Socrates. He was born into an aristocratic family involved in government, and in turn he would be destined for a life involved in politics as well. However Plato avoided involvement in government after witnessing all the corruptionmby his uncle, and as a result, leads to his first encounter with Socrates as his pupil at the age of twenty (Navia 96).
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