Ancient Greek philosopher Plato is renowned for his works and contributions in the field of philosophy and mathematics. Born in a wealthy family in the 428-7 B.C., He got the chance to learn from some of Athens’ finest teachers. His learning in his early life built the foundation for his interest in the study of metaphysics and epistemology.
The Great Greek Philosopher Plato’s Life
Plato’s life was greatly influenced by Socrates. He was so impressed with his way of looking at life, his thought process and dialogue that he soon became a close associate. During a brief period from 409 B.C. – 404 B.C. He served in the Peloponnesian war.
Before he met Socrates in 407 B.C. Plato’s aspired to become a playwright. It was under Socrates’s influence that he turned away from politics and concentrated on philosophy. One major event which turned Plato away from politics was the trial and execution of his mentor Socrates.
After Socrates died in 399 B.C. Plato’s traveled a lot. He started living a life that was filled with study and philosophy. He traveled for almost 12 years studying astronomy, geology, geometry, and religion in Egypt. He studied mathematics in Italy with the Pythagoreans. It was during this phase of his life that he started writing extensively.
His early writings like Apology of Socrates, Hippias Major, and Minor, Ion, Protagoras, and Euthyphro, focused more on spreading Socrates’s philosophy and teachings. There is some debate about the order of these writings.
The Early period of Plato’s
Experts call this is the early period of Plato’s writings.In the middle period of his writings, he wrote a lot on the idea of wisdom, justice, courage, and moderation of the society and the individual. One of the most prominent of his works, ‘The Republic’, was written in this middle period.
In the late period, Plato wrote a lot about art. He explored and wrote extensively about various art forms like music, dance, architecture, drama etc. He also wrote a lot of morals and ethics.
In his writings, in this period he profoundly suggested how the world of ideas is the only constant and that our perceptions of the world are deceptive.Somewhere in the middle of all his extensive writing works, He successfully founded ‘The
Academy’ in 385 B.C. Students were taught a variety of subjects like astronomy, mathematics, political theory, biology, and philosophy. At the Academy, he had a rather promising student whose name was Aristotle.
Aristotle was highly inspired by Plato and took his teachings to a new level.Plato along with his mentor Socrates and pupil Aristotle has had an instrumental impact on the modern western philosophies and the modern school of thought.
His writings are studied to date. His work on the idea of the development of a fair and just society on the basis of reasoning has established the ideals of equality for individuals and democracy.
Plato died in his 80’s around 348 B.C. in Athens. There is some debate over his death as the actual reason and manner of his death is still unknown. Post Plato’s death, the Academy was shut down in 529 B.C. by the Roman emperor Justinian I.