Philosophy Of Plato

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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As you may know from the lectures, Plato was a greek philosopher who was born in 427 BC and died in 347 BC. Plato was actually given the name Aristocles, but was called Plato possibly as a reference to his broad shoulders because apparently used to a wrestler. Plato by the way means broad or flat. He was born into a wealthy family and his dad was descended from the last king of Athens Plato's philosophy had a massive impact on western thought which is probably the reason why he is so well known in the western world. Another reason why Plato is so well known and respected is because of his method of enquiry. Plato's method of enquiry was totally different from the past ancient greek philosophers, the method used was a more rigorous and rational method of enquiry which philosophers alike used today. Plato introduced analysis, effective argument and a rational approach which laid the foundations of philosophical thought for all the philosophers who came after him.

This is why the British philosopher Alfred North Whitehead famously said that the history of philosophy is "˜but a series of footnotes to Plato' Plato wasn't pre occupied by the big questions in life which related to cosmology, his main concern was with moral philosophy i.e. how to live our lives. His later readings were more directed to other branches of philosophy such as political philosophy, education, metaphysics and epistemology. Plato's was actually the earliest philosopher whose writings have survived so it gives philosophers a look not just into early philosophy but what ancient Greece was like.

It's also important to look at the world Plato was living in. At the time Greece wasn't a united country, but was a collection of city-states that were united by language and culture as...



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