Plato. By Michael McDanielPlato was the best known of all the great Greek philosophers. Platosoriginal name was Aristocles, but in his school days he was nicknamed Platon(meaning broad) because of his broad shoulders. Born in Athens circa B. C.
427, Plato saught out political status. But during the Athenian democracy, he didnot activly embrace it. Plato devoted his life to Socrates, and became hisdisciple in B. C. 409.
Plato was outraged when Socarates was executed by theAthenian democrats in B. C. 399. He later left Athens convinced democracywouldnt make it. Years after Plato romed the Greek cities in Africa and Italy absorbingphilosphical knowledge and then returning to Athens in B. C.Order now
387. There he latercreated the first University on the ground of famous Greek Academus, which waslater called the Academy. He remained at the Academy for the remainder of hislife omitting 2 brief periods. He visited Syracuse and Greek Sicily to serve as atutor for the new king, Dionysis II. Which ended out very badly when the Kingacted like a king, instead of a philospher. Perhaps Platos worse student.
He later returned to Athens and died in his early 80s, circa B. C. 347. Platos work is argueably the most popular and influential of its kind everpublished. His most popular work are transcripts, or dialogues between the greatSocrates and himself.
These dialogues are the basis of our general knowlegebetween Socrates views and Platos views. Plato was much like Socrates, in that he was mostly interested in moralphilosophy and overlooked science natural philosophy. He considered thenatural science as an inferior knowledge, not worthy of his time. Plato loved mathematics mainly because, back then, it idealizedabstractions and seperated from the material world. Plato thought mathematicswas the purest form of thoughts, and had nothing to do with everyday life.
Thatdoesnt nessacarily apply to the matters of today. Plato belived in mathematicsso much that he sketched a quote above the doorway of the Academy thatstated, Let no one ignorant of mathematics enter here. Plato believed that mathematics, in ideal form, could be applied to theheavens. He expresses this in his dialogue of Timaeus, his scheme of theuniverse. In his dialogue Timaeus Plato creates a fictioinal tale of Atlantis to put amoralistic spin in the dialogue. Atlantis, as we all know, is the fictional city ofwhich everyone and everything was moraly perfect.
Needless to say, peopletoday still think that the city of Atlantis exsisted, even though the theory isntmoot. Today, Platos work still influences us. The Academy stood teaching untilA. D. 529, when the Roman Emperor, Justinian ordered the close of it.
Eventhough he was paganist, Christians like yourself were influenced andentertained by the wonderful dialogues of Socrates and Plato.