Plato was a philosopher and mathematician who changed the way philosophy was perceived and practiced in the Western world. He abandoned political power in the oligarchy to seek out virtue. Influenced by Socrates, Plato wrote some of the most enduring pieces of philosophical literature, which have had noted influences on every subsequent culture that read them. He founded the Academy and taught Aristotle, who also shaped Western thought and behavior.Continue Reading
Prior to Plato, the word "philosophy" meant the "love of wisdom" and was practiced by many people with little to no application of cohesive methodologies. These people are called pre-Socratic philosophers or Sophists. Sophists viewed philosophy as a trade that could be marketed and sold. The concept of philosophy and philosophical study in which strict logical methods are used to systematically and critically examine issues originated with Plato and his dialogues. He made extensive use of informal logic, searching for fallacies and inconsistencies in arguments, and he was one of the first thinkers to apply mathematical logic. His student Aristotle further developed these processes into informal logic, which laid the groundwork for future scientific thought a thousand years later.
Plato lived in the Ancient Greek city-state of Athens. He eventually met Socrates, who became one of Plato's greatest influences. He often used Socrates as the main character in many of his dialogues, in which Plato sought out the answers to political, social, epistemological, metaphysical and ethical issues through a dialectical discourse between characters. Works considered his most influential include "Apology," "Republic," "Symposium" and "Timaeus," among many more.Learn more about Philosophy
Robert Hooke was an English scientist, mathematician and philosopher who lived between 1635 and 1703. He is known for a variety of accomplishments in the scientific world. According to Biography.com, he is recognized mainly for his discovery of elasticity. Hooke's Law on elasticity explains the relationship between force exerted on a mass and its position.Full Answer >
Rene Descartes, the French philosopher and mathematician who invented the Cartesian coordinate system, is considered the father of modern analytical geometry. His work was crucial to the discovery of infinitesimal calculus by Gottfried Liebniz and Isaac Newton.Full Answer >
French philosopher and mathematician Rene Descartes is behind many important concepts, from the Cartesian plane in mathematics to the "I think, therefore I am" philosophy. Descartes was born to humble beginnings, but he managed to become an important thinker and notable person.Full Answer >
Plato is celebrated as one of the most significant early Greek philosophers. His theories of form, ethics and politics, in particular, have proven enormously influential in both Western and Islamic traditions. Some, such as Alfred North Whitehead, have even considered all subsequent Western thought as simply a "footnote" to Plato.Full Answer >