Plato, a classical Greek philosopher and mathematician born in 427 B.C. and died in 348-7 B.C., is seen by many as one of the greatest philosophers of the classical period. His works have greatly contributed to the developments in many distinct areas of philosophy such as epistemology, metaphysics, ethics and aesthetics. Along with his teacher Socrates and his student Aristotle, he laid the philosophical foundations for Western culture, and positively influenced Western societal developments.
Plato was born to a wealthy family in Athens. His father Ariston is a descendant of Codrus, one of the early kings of Athens, and his mother Perictione is from the family of Solon, the prominent reformer of the Athenian constitution. Coming from such a distinguished political background, he was naturally believed to actively engage in the Athenian political life, but this never happened because he detested his corrupt political communities and parties. As a young man, there were two things in his life that changed his pursuits. One was meeting the great Greek philosopher Socrates, who later became his mentor and close friend. The other event was the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta. Two relatives of Plato’s later became notable figures in the new government, part of the notorious Thirty Tyrants, which helped him foster the idea of a career in politics. However, the execution of Socrates in 399 ended this idea, and Plato soon turned to seek for a life of studying and teaching philosophy, for which he founded the Plato’s Academy.
His teaching to his fellow Athenians and some emperors (not all) was a great success. The platonic thoughts, summarized in his book Republic and other dialogues of his mentor Socrates, had profound influences on the western societal developments in the area such as philosophy, ethics, religion, culture, education and so on. His ideas and their influences will be thoroughly examined below.
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