Sunday, May 4, 2008

Plato – Great Philosophers of the World

Plato was a Greek philosopher and was one of the greatest thinkers in western European history. He was the student of Socrates and the teacher of Aristotle.

Plato’s writings and teachings dealt with all the fundamental questions of philosophy. Because of its depth and range, his thinking had an effect on all the western civilizations.

Plato was born in a noble family of Athens, and had good education. He thought of becoming a politician but did not like the politicians of his times. Instead, Plato went to study with Socrates, and became a friend as well as pupil of that master. When Socrates was executed in 399 B.C. Plato and other scholars fled to Megara. Plato later defended Socrates in a book called “The Apology”.

In 387 B.C., Plato returned to Athens and founded a school, later known as the Academy. The school taught philosophy, mathematics, law and science. Plato taught at this academy till his end.

Most of Plato’s works are written in the form of dialogues, in which people ask one another questions and discuss a point. Plato often made Socrates one of the participants in the dialogues.

Of Plato’s many works, the Republic is the best known. In it he expressed his views on how to organize a state and society.

Plato’s longest book, the ‘Laws’ dealt with how to write a constitution and make laws.

No comments: