Plato: A Renowned Philosopher

Harrison Boyd, Writer

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Plato, born in 428/427 B.C., lived in the era of what historians classify as ancient philosophy. Little remains known of Plato’s early life and his education, but he belonged to a strong, aristocratic family. Plato’s father descends from the  King of Athens, Codrus and the king of Messenia, Melanthus.

Always boastful, his mother’s family touted their relationship with the renowned Athenian lawmaker Solon who repealed the laws of Draco. His specific birth place remains truly unknown, but sources state that he came to life in Athens or Aegina.

Plato had three siblings with whom he shared his life with, one of his brothers having died in his childhood. Plato held a true name which some in his lifetime knew of: Aristocles. This name meant ¨well named¨.

Unlike common, ordinary students, excellent in his studies, the boy proved himself to many who mentored him.

His father worked hard and contributed all that he deemed necessary in order to promise his son a fulfilling education. This effort from his father shined through as Plato progressed in age.

One of his most famous works, The Republic gave a theory of justice and correct social organization of society. Philosophers form the only class of men to possess knowledge and can truly hold the title of fair and equitable men. Their souls, more than others, aim to fulfill the desires of humanity’s  rational part.

Plato explains that the world is divided into two realms, the visible which people  grasp with their senses, and the intelligible which they only grasp with their mind. The visible world represents the universe humans see around them. The intelligible world comprises abstract forms and changeless absolutes, such as goodness and beauty.

The well-known philosopher remains cited as one of the founders of Western religion and spirituality. Having opened an academy, he taught many students by founding the first Western world institution of higher learning.

He learned from his teacher Socrates whom also shared philosophical characteristics. Many scholars and researchers claim that the influential philosopher gained his views and extended them from his outstanding teacher. Nevertheless, new facts emerged regarding some original works that derived straight from Plato himself.

Students in school and college study certain philosophers and examine their theories daily. Plato´s works fluctuate in popularity as time passes, but schools and teachers continue to promote his works as literary masterpieces.

Plato: not an obscure writer in history, but forever remembered as a brilliant thinker!

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