One of The Greatest Things to Come Out of Athens was Philosopher Plato And His Questions, Answers, Ideas, and Dialogues
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When it comes to the greatest thinkers of our time, Plato must be the most influential person in human history. The Greek philosopher brought out so many different ideas into the world, that modern society would be nothing without him. He wrote many texts that not only were visionary for the time, but were also analyzed for years to come. At the end of the day, what made Plato who he was, and what made him one of the greatest minds ever?
Plato was born in Athens Greece in either 428 or 427 B.C.E. His parents were Ariston and Perictione, with common ties all the way to Poseidon himself. Plato had two brothers that were named Adeimantus and Glaucon, and a sister named Potone. His family was the richest and most involved in politics in Athens at the time. He was involved in all the best teachings and physical activities. He was taught by the best people and even wrestled with the greats of the time. As he grew older, and after the death of his mentor Socrates, Plato traveled the world, going to the island of Sicily and ending up on the African Country of Egypt.
As Plato grew older, and was taught by many of the best teachers of the time, he was widely appreciated for the way he thought. Because of this, the leading philosopher of the time, Socrates, put him under his wing, and mentored him. Many of the doctrines and arguments made by Plato’s dialogues had a lot of Socrates’s fingerprints on it, and a lot of his literary works have Socrates as the main character. Plato was has even considered Socrates to be the most just person in the world. Many other people influenced the man, including Heraclitus, that gave him the idea of a simple world that changes constantly. Parmenides and Zeno both helped Plato understand what the metaphysical was and how to perceive reality. The Pythagoreans Archytas and Echecrates both influenced the mathematics in his work. These are people that Plato respected and admired the most.
Plato wrote many letters, dialogues, and doctrines in which different characters and ideas were presented to put how we view the self, society, and our actions in perspective. After the death of Socrates, Plato wrote Apology, Protagoras, Hippas Major, and Euthyphro, to say the least. Each of the stories has Socrates as the protagonist, and he has this ability to not only answer the question that he has been asked, but answer a deeper, and more thought provoking question. The themes presented are that of retaliation, avoiding injustice, and obeying the states’ laws. His later works revolved around the ideas of forms, immortality, reincarnation, and platonic love. In the works before his death, he analyzes the shadow cast by the death of Socrates, retracts or reanalyzes his earlier theory of forms, the creation of the universe, the lost city of Atlantis.
Although many of Plato’s contributions were visionary and his idea of one’s self made many people wonder who they were and how they fit in society, many people had their opinions on him. Plato saw that his society was corrupt and considered the people in charge to be immoral and ignorant to the issues of his people. Because of this he had radical views on how to fix these problems. With the idea of a philosopher king, Plato wanted the ruler to be a philosopher, and wanted to end democracy all together. This notion may have stemmed from the fact that Plato was an idealist. He believed that an idea is good and that the knowledge we gain from the sharing of these ideas is the greatest thing. He separated the society into three classes, and was mentioned to be a savage that attacks liberal ideas. Plato in turn was also a communist. His protégé Aristotle criticized this in his political books, and was even called a fascist.
Plato brought a lot to society. Not only his own, but subsequently many after his. He was never afraid to ask a question. These thoughts go own into other thoughts, and really push forward what an idea really is. He wrote in a way that allowed critiques and opposing views. It created a dialogue to make sure every possible idea can be thought of and heard. His conversations added nuance in a world of war and yelling at each other. Even when a person disagrees with the thoughts, ideas, and answers of Plato, fighting and trying to accept his ideas shows how difficult our society is today. His argument of what the forms brought the notion of how any human can have any kind of knowledge at all, and in turn gave us the knowledge that we are lucky to have any knowledge of anything in the first place.
One of the greatest things to come out of Athens was Plato. His rich family provided an education that cultivated one of the greatest minds in the world. His literary works and thought processes not only made his society great, but were also a back bone to how many other societies could flourish. Although his ideas could be considered to be radical now as much as they were back then, the fear that his questions, answers, ideas, and dialogues present to the status quo justify how right, and how amazing he was as a philosopher.