Plato (428-354 BCE)
Plato was born to a wealthy family and was a student of the great
philosopher Socrates. After the death of his teacher Plato
founded the first university, called the Academy. There,
students focused on important questions such as "What is
the self?" and "What is human nature?" Aristotle
was one of his star pupils. Plato believed that there are
unchanging truths about all things for example, there are many
breeds of horses, but there are definite things that define "horseness"
about them all. He also believed that a philosopher's job
is to open people's eyes to the truth and help them strive to
be good and fair. Plato believed that men and women had the same
intellectual powers, and was one of the first to teach that women
should receive the same education as men. Plato also believed
in an unseen world where there existed perfect models of all things
on Earth. He also held that society would be at its best,
and remain stable and just, with philosophers in power. Plato
wrote down his teachings in the form of conversations called Dialogues.
The most famous of his Dialogues are "The Republic"
and "The Death of Socrates."
If Plato were alive today, how would he answer
the question, "Imagination or knowledge: Which has a greater impact on society?"
Can there be in reality an ideal society
that Plato describes? What would this society look like?
What would our government look like today
if it were run by philosophers as Plato proposed?
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Socrates • Aristotle
• Confucius • Rand
• Aquinas • Locke
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