Plato is famous for being one of the most influential figures in Western philosophy, and his student Aristotle went on to have a similarly large impact on the world. According to Alfred North Whitehead, a mathematician and philosopher, "The safest general characterisation of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato."Continue Reading
Plato's most famous work is "The Republic," a treatise that reflects on what it means to be a good person, how to live a good life, and what the best form of government is. The Epistles, a collection of 35 dialogues and 13 letters, have also served as a basis for everything from Western ideas about love to mathematics (particularly arithmetic and number theory) and logic.
While Plato's works were lost to the West after the fall of the Roman Empire, they were preserved in the Muslim world by scholars who translated them from Ancient Greek to Arabic. Western European scholars in turn translated the Arabic works into Latin, and later when Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire fell, many other texts by Plato were taken to Western Europe by Greek refugees. This influx of knowledge is one of the factors that led to the Renaissance, and Plato's texts directly influenced the surge in scientific and philosophical development that followed.Learn more about Philosophy
Socrates focused on asking probing, sometimes humiliating questions in order to learn, Plato believed in immortality of the soul and Aristotle was a champion of reason and believed in avoiding extremes. While the three philosophers had differences, they were more alike as Aristotle was the student of Plato and Plato was the student of Socrates.Full Answer >
The primary difference between Plato and Aristotle lies in their beliefs about what was most authentic about existence. Plato believed that ultimate reality is not present in everyday experiences. Aristotle thought that the everyday world is more authentic than Plato's otherworldly set of ideals.Full Answer >
Plato, the Greek philosopher and student of Socrates, contributed the philosophical idea that reason was necessary for a fair and just society. He felt individuals required equality, which became the basis for modern democratic ideals. He also pontificated on the importance of mathematics in education and art and culture in civilized society.Full Answer >
The Republic, a philosophical work produced in 380 BCE and still discussed in modern curriculum, is one of the more commonly known contributions of Plato. The Republic addresses justice and politics. Another contribution of Plato is The Academy, an institution at which students could study astronomy, biology, mathematics and politics.Full Answer >