Who was Plato?
Plato (429 – 347 B.C.E.) was a citizen of Athens, Greece and is perhaps best known in connection with his mentor, Socrates. The death of Socrates in 399 B.C.E., which is recorded in Plato’s Apology, marked a turning point in Plato’s career and he moved away from politics and turned to philosophy. In his early writings, Plato records the teachings of Socrates. Socrates’ method, now commonly referred to as the Socratic Method, used questioning to propel students’ thinking and lead them to earned insights. While Socrates remained a stable figure in Plato’s dialogues, eventually the philosophy became Plato’s own rather than a recounting of Socrates’ beliefs.
Plato’s work reflects the political events and intellectual movements of Greek culture, which was marked by foreign wars and domestic democracy. One of the central precepts in Plato’s philosophy is the distinction between what appears to be beautiful and the true definition of beauty. Most all of Plato’s dialogues examine the ethical and practical consequences of failing to comprehend this distinction. Although Plato died in 347 B.C.E., he is still regarded as one of the most influential philosophic thinkers of all time.
Plato was one of the greatest minds of our world. He was a Greek philosopher, mathematician, political theorist, and the founder of the Academy in Athens - arguably the first institution of higher learning. He was born in 427 BC and lived to 347 BC.
He is best known for his philosophic dialogues, which prominently feature Socrates, his teacher. In fact, we know about Socrates primarily through Plato, as Socrates never wrote a thing.
Plato, through his prolific writings, has shaped the Western world in great ways. For instance, even much of Christianity was influenced by Plato's works. Today, scholars still study him.