Sunday, 26 June 2016

PLATO (427 BC – 347 BC)

Plato, alias Aristocles Planton was a great philosopher in classical Greece and was a student of Socrates. History documents him as the founder of The Academy in Athens, which was the 1st higher learning institution in the West. Plato was the teacher of Aristotle, another great philosopher during his time who took Plato’s teaching towards a new direction.

He authored many philosophical works which stamped great influence on the Western thought. His works toured justice, beauty and equality, and he also held discussions on aesthetics, political philosophy, theology, cosmology, metaphysics and the philosophy of language. Apart from his great teacher Socrates, he also learned from some of Athen’s finest works- including the doctrines of Cratylus,Pythagoras and Parmenides. His school, The Academy, taught Astronomy, Biology, Mathematics, Political theory and Philosophy. His burning desire was to see his school stamp great impact on leadership by providing a place for future leaders to discover how to build a better government in the Greek city states.

During the Peloponnesian war between Athens and Sparta, Plato served briefly. He also, at a point in his life, eyed politics and made this clear by expressing his desire and holding the door of his heart open for politics. However, the execution of his great teacher Socrates in 399 BCE tore his ambitions apart and he fell back to a life of studying and writing. He travelled for twelve years throughout the Mediterranean region studying. Among the subjects he studied was Mathematics with Pythagorean's in Italy, Geometry, Geology, Astronomy and Religion in Egypt. These studies propelled him towards a life in writing.

The works of Plato have stood the test of time and still stand even as years elapse, as essential for understanding the universe. For instance, his work that presents the use of reason to develop a more fair and just society- focusing on equality, serves as the foundation of the modern democracy.

These are books authored by Plato: Symposium, Republic, Allegory of the cave, Phaedo, Apology

Complied by Brian Kasaine

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