Plato was a great philosopher of ancient Greece whose writings and teachings still carry great importance. The works of this great thinker are read all over the world even now.
He was a student of Socrates and teacher of Aristute. In fact, the ideas of Socrates were translated into writing by his great disciple Plato. He is also credited with implantation the seeds of Aristotle's thought and intellect Plato was born in 427 B.C. in Athens.
He belonged to a wealthy aristocratic family and joined Socrates as his pupil at the age of 20. When Socrates was poisoned to death in 399 B.C., Plato left Athens in disgust and spent a few years in travelling. But he returned soon to establish his famous Academy in Athens in 388 B.C. which is considered as the first university in the world.
Plato's teachings covered a wide range of subjects. But his views and thoughts on education, justice, ideal state and ideal rulers are still hotly debated and discussed among the intellectuals. For him, philosophy' was the supreme thing and no learning is complete without it. He advocated the rule of philosophers, he said, "Either philosophers should be kings or kings should be philosophers". Justice for him was the performance of one's duties. His model code for ideal rulers suggested that rulers should neither get married nor own property. He said that there is an ideal world beyond the real world which can be experienced only in one's mind and man should always strive to bring the real world closer to the ideal one.
There is another interesting aspect of Plato's method of teaching. He did not permit his lectures at the Academy to be circulated in written form as he was afraid that readers outside the Academy might not understand his ideas correctly. His logic was that a man gets the opportunity to defend himself in a debate but cannot do so in his writings. So when he started writing his ideas, he did so in the form of dialogues that provided the mention of different viewpoints along with his own.
Among his books, the most famous is The Republic which is a political dialogue providing the requirements for an ideal state.
This great philosopher died in Athens at the age of 80.
#plato #philosopher #athens
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