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Lecture 8 Greek Thought: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle

The political and social upheaval caused by the Persian Wars as well as continued strife between Athens and Sparta (see Lecture 7) had at least one unintended consequence . In the 5th century, a flood of new ideas poured into Athens. In general, these new ideas came as a result of an influx of Ionian thinkers into the Attic peninsula. Athens had become the intellectual and artistic center of the Greek world. Furthermore, by the mid-5th century, it had become more common for advanced thinkers to reject traditional explanations of the world of nature. As a result of the experience of a century of war, religious beliefs declined. Gods and goddesses were no longer held in the same regard as they had been a century earlier. I suppose we could generalize and say that the Persian and Peloponnesian Wars taught that the actions of men and women determine their own destiny, and not "Moira." Meanwhile, more traditional notions of right and wrong were called into question, and all of this was expressed in Hellenic tragedy and comedy. The Greeks used their creative energies to explain experience by recourse to history, tragedy, comedy, art and architecture. But their creative energies were also used to "invent" philosophy, defined as "the love of wisdom." In general, philosophy came into existence when the Greeks discovered their dissatisfaction with supernatural and mythical explanations of reality. Over time, Greek thinkers began to suspect that there was a rational or logical order to the universe.

The Pre-Socratic Philosophers
The PRE-SOCRATIC philosophers came from the city of Miletus in the region of Ionia. Miletus was a prominent trading depot and its people had direct contact with the ideas of the Near East. Around 600 B.C., Milesian thinkers "discovered" speculation after asking a simple but profound question: "what exists?" It was the Ionian natural philosopher, Thales of Miletus (c.624-548 B.C.), who answered that everything in the universe was made of water and resolves itself into water. What was so revolutionary about Thales was that he omitted the gods from his account of the origins of nature. It is also necessary to point out that Thales committed none of his views to writing. Anaximander of Miletus (c.611-c.547 B.C.), another Milesian thinker, rejected Thales, and argued instead that an indefinite substance -- the Boundless -- was the source of all things. According to Anaximander, the cold and wet condensed to form the earth while the hot and dry formed the moon, sun and stars. The heat from the fire in the skies dried the earth and shrank the seas. It's a rather fantastic scheme, but at least Anaximander sought natural explanations for the origin of the natural world. Thales and Anaximander were "matter" philosophers -- they believed that everything had its origin in a material substance. Pythagoras of Samos (c.580-507 B.C.) did not find that nature of things in material substances but in mathematical relationships. The Pythagoreans, who lived in Greek cities in southern Italy, discovered that the intervals in the musical scale could be expressed mathematically and that this principle could be extended to the universe. In other words, the universe contained an inherent mathematical order. What we witness in the Pythagoreans is the emphasis on form rather than matter, and here we move from sense perception to the logic of mathematics. 1

Parmenides of Elea (c.515-450 B.C.), also challenged the fundamental views of the Ionian philosophers that all things emerged from one substance. What Parmenides did was to apply logic to the arguments of the Pythagoreans, thus setting the groundwork of formal logic. He argued that reality is one, eternal and unchanging. We "know" reality not by the senses, which are capable of deception, but through the human mind, not through experience, but through reason. As we shall see, this concept shall become central to the philosophic thought of Plato. Perhaps the most important of all the Pre-Socratic philosophers was Heraclitus of Ephesus (fl. 500 B.C.). Known as "the weeping philosopher" because of his pessimistic view of human nature and "the dark one" because of the mystical obscurity of his thought, Heraclitus wrote On Nature, fragments of which we still possess. Whereas the Pythagoreans had emphasized harmony, Heraclitus suggested that life was maintained by a tension of opposites, fighting a continuous battle in which neither side could win a final victory. Movement and the flux of change were unceasing for individuals, but the structure of the cosmos constant. This law of individual flux within a permanent universal framework was guaranteed by the Logos, an intelligent governing principle materially embodied as fire, and identified with soul or life. Fire is the primordial element out of which all else has arisen -- change (becoming) is the first principle of the universe. Cratylus, a follower of Heraclitus, once made the remark that "You cannot step twice into the same river." The water will be different water the second time, and if we call the river the same, it is because we see its reality in its form. The logical conclusion of this is the opposite of flux, that is, a belief in an absolute, unchanging reality of which the world of change and movement is only a quasi-existing phantom, phenomenal, not real. Democritus of Abdera (c.460-370 B.C.) argued that knowledge was derived through sense perception -- the senses illustrate to us that change does occur in nature. However, Democritus also retained Parmenides' confidence in human reason. His universe consisted of empty space and an infinite number of atoms (a-tomos, the "uncuttable"). Eternal and indivisible, these atoms moved in the void of space. An atomic theory to the core, Democritus saw all matter constructed of atoms which accounted for all change in the natural world. What the Pre-Socratic thinkers from Thales to Democritus had done was nothing less than amazing -- they had given to nature a rational and non-mythical foundation. This new approach allowed a critical analysis of theories, whereas mythical explanations relied on blind faith alone. Such a spirit even found its way into medicine, where the Greek physician Hippocrates of Cos (c.460-c.377 B.C.) was able to distinguish between magic and medicine. Physicians observed ill patients, classified symptoms and then made predictions about the course of a disease. For instance, of epilepsy, he wrote: "It is not, in my opinion, any more divine or more scared than other diseases, but has a natural cause, and its supposed divine origin is due to men's inexperience, and to their wonder at its peculiar character."

The Sophists
Into such an atmosphere of change came the traveling teachers, the Sophists. The Sophists were a motley bunch – some hailed from the Athenian polis or other city-states, but the majority came from Ionia, in Asia Minor. The Sophists were men whose responsibility it was to train and educate the sons of Athenian citizens. There were no formal school as we know them today. Instead, these were peripatetic schools, meaning that the instructor would walk with students and talk with them – for a fee, of course. The Sophists taught the skills (sophia) of rhetoric and oratory. Both of these arts were essential for the education of the Athenian citizenry. After all, it was the sons of the citizens who would eventually find themselves debating important issues in the Assembly and the Council of Five Hundred. Rhetoric can be described as the art of composition, while oratory was the art of public speaking. 2

The Sophists abandoned science, philosophy, mathematics and ethics. What they taught was the subtle art of persuasion. A Sophist was a person who could argue eloquently – and could prove a position whether that position was correct or incorrect. In other words, what mattered was persuasion and not truth. The Sophists were also relativists. They believed that there was no such thing as a universal or absolute truth, valid at all times. According to Protagoras (c.485-c.411 B.C.), "Man is the measure of all things." Everything is relative and there are no values because man, individual man, is the measure of all things. Nothing is good or bad since everything depends on the individual. Gorgias of Leontini (c.485-c.380 B.C.), who visited Athens in 427, was a well-paid teacher of rhetoric and famous for his saying that a man could not know anything. And if he could, he could not describe it and if he could describe it, no one would understand him. The Sophistic movement of the fifth century B.C. has been the subject of much discussion and there is no single view about their significance. Plato's treatment of the Sophists in his late dialogue, the Sophist, is hardly flattering. He does not treat them as real seekers after truth but as men whose only concern was making money and teaching their students success in argument by whatever means. Aristotle said that a Sophist was "one who made money by sham wisdom." At their very best, the Sophists challenged the accepted values of the fifth century. They wanted the freedom to sweep away old conventions as a way of finding a better understanding of the universe, the gods and man. The Sophists have been compared with the philosophes of the 18th century Enlightenment who also used criticism and reason to wipe out anything they deemed was contrary to human reason. Regardless of what we think of the Sophists as a group or individually, they certainly did have the cumulative effect of further degrading a mythical understanding of the universe and of man.

From the ranks of the Sophists came SOCRATES (c.469-399 B.C.), perhaps the most noble and wisest Athenian to have ever lived. He was born sometime in 469, we don't know for sure. What we do know is that his father was Sophroniscus, a stone cutter, and his mother, Phaenarete, was a midwife. Sophroniscus was a close friend of the son of Aristides the Just (c.550-468 B.C.), and the young Socrates was familiar with members of the circle of Pericles. In his youth he fought as a hoplite at Potidaea (432-429), Delium (424) and Amphipolis (422) during the Peloponnesian Wars. To be sure, his later absorption in philosophy made him neglect his private affairs and he eventually fell to a level of comparative poverty. He was perhaps more in love with the study of philosophy than with his family -- that his wife Xanthippe was shrew is a later tale. In Plato's dialogue, the Crito, we meet a Socrates concerned with the future of his three sons. Just the same, his entire life was subordinated to "the supreme art of philosophy." He was a good citizen but held political office only once – he was elected to the Council of Five Hundred in 406 B.C. In Plato's Apology, Socrates remarks that: The true champion if justice, if he intends to survive even for a short time, must necessarily confine himself to private life and leave politics alone. What we can be sure about Socrates was that he was remarkable for living the life he preached. Taking no fees, Socrates started and dominated an argument wherever the young and intelligent would listen, and people asked his advice on matters of practical conduct and educational problems. Socrates was not an attractive man -- he was snub-nosed, prematurely bald, and overweight. But, he was strong in body and the intellectual master of every one with whom he came into contact. The Athenian youth flocked to his side as he walked the paths of the agora. They clung to his every word and gesture. He was not a Sophist himself, but a philosopher, a lover of wisdom. 3

That is. Xenophon and Plato.In 399 B." He was convicted to death by a margin of six votes. that he was charged "as an evil-doer and curious person. He did not reveal truth. PLATO (c. was that he knew nothing. there was prejudice against him. but one of the things Plato more or less discovered on his own was that mankind is born with knowledge. the jury offered Socrates the chance to pay a small fine for his impiety. Socrates was charged with impiety by a jury of five hundred of his fellow citizens. Meletus. sought precedents in the impiety trials of Pericles' friends. Although this episode smacks of Socrates' well-known irony. Our knowledge of Socrates comes to us from numerous dialogues which Plato wrote after 399. Socrates would argue both sides of a question in order to arrive at a conclusion. But Socrates refused to break the law. the citizen who brought the indictment. Perhaps it is not that difficult to understand why Socrates was considered a gadfly! There is a reason why Socrates employed this style.427-347 B. upon this sole fact lay the source of his wisdom.C. Plato Socrates wrote nothing himself. He also managed to provoke hostility. claiming that in exposing their falsehoods. And there is a difference between the two. Then that conclusion is argued against another assumption and so on. he clearly did believe that his mission was divinely inspired. 529. The style of the Plato's dialogue is important – it is the Socratic style that he employs throughout. He was twenty-eight years old when Socrates was put to death. Oddly enough. on the surface. searching into things under the earth and above the heavens. and what he taught his students to discover. and making the worse appear the better cause. yet all of them claimed to be courageous. For instance.) did write four short portraits of Socrates.D. Plato. question-answer. questionanswer. quite simple: what is courage? what is virtue? what is duty? But what Socrates discovered. as it was called. It is a dialectical style as well. it is almost to Plato alone that we know anything of Socrates.. He spent his last days with his friends before he drank the fatal dose of hemlock. he had proved the god right -. when it was closed by Justinian. The reason why this charge is somewhat justified is that he challenged his students to think for themselves – to use their minds to answer questions. Many of his questions were. virtuous and dutiful. What kind of citizen would he be if he refused to accept the judgment of the jury? No citizen at all. Although Xenophon (c. In nearly every dialogue – and there are more than thirty that we know about – Socrates is the main speaker.C. was that most people could not answer these fundamental questions to his satisfaction.C. the Byzantine emperor. During his trial Socrates had the audacity to use this as a justification of his examination of the conduct of all Athenians. Socrates taught Plato a great many things. His most famous student. tells us. The Academy.disbelief in the state's gods -. At the age of forty. to A. The charge made against Socrates -. A Socratic dialogue takes the form of question-answer. remained in existence from 387 B. 4 . Socrates was not necessarily an intelligent man – but he was a wise man. what Socrates knew.he at least knew that he knew nothing.) came from a family of aristoi. and teaching all this to others.354 B. and was perhaps Socrates' most famous student. Plato established a school at Athens for the education of Athenian youth.a first-class pain. He did not reveal answers. served in the Peloponnesian War. Although Socrates was neither a heretic nor an agnostic.implied unAthenian activities which would corrupt the young and the state if preached publicly.430-c. He also rejected the pleas of Plato and other students who had a boat waiting for him at Piraeus that would take him to freedom.C. What we know of him comes from the writings of two of his closest friends. as well as why Plato recorded his experience with Socrates in the form of a dialogue. the Delphic oracle is said to have told Chaerephon that no man was wiser than Socrates. So. Socrates has been described as a gadfly -. He rejected it.

Plato postulates that there is a higher unchanging reality of the beautiful. Plato's greatest and most enduring work was his lengthy dialogue. a thing? what can we know? These are epistemological questions – that is. it is knowledge only to the individual knower. His job was not to teach truth but to show his students how they could "pull" truth out of their own minds (it is for this reason that Socrates often considered himself a midwife in the labor of knowledge). and along with it.his solution was to unite them in the guise of the Philosopher-King. goodness or justice. absolute and universal. The problem as Plato saw it was that power and wisdom had traveled divergent paths -. In other words. mental and spiritual development of the individual is of paramount importance. Plato's Republic also embodies one of the clearest expressions of his theory of knowledge. Building upon the wisdom of Socrates and Parmenides. all of us – is at the mercy of sense impressions and unfortunately. Because the senses may deceive us. It is in The Republic that Plato suggests that democracy was little more than a "charming form of government. I do not accept this opinion. The purpose of The Republic was something of a warning to all Athenians that without respect for law. but rather. but that we "recollect" them. had failed to realize its lofty ideals. was to give control over to the Philosopher-Kings. leadership and a sound education for the young. although there may be something from the phenomenal world which we consider beautiful or good or just. It is not so much that we "learn" things in our daily experience. and to give little more than "noble lies" to everyone else. it is necessary that this higher world exist. we are like prisoners in a cave – we mistake shadows on a wall for reality. There is a higher world. In other words. Our senses deceive us. Plato realized that the Athenian state. Athenian direct democracy. The Republic discusses a number of topics including the nature of justice. reality is always changing – knowledge of reality is individual. This dialogue has often been regarded as Plato's blueprint for a future society of perfection. So much for democracy. Plato argued that reality is known only through the mind. To live in accordance with these universal standards is the good life -. but only questions. This may explain why Socrates did not give his students answers. ethics and the nature of politics. It is an education of a strange sort – he called it paideia. a world of Ideas or Forms -. men who had philosophical knowledge. This is the central argument of Plato's ALLEGORY OF THE CAVE which appears in Book VII of The Republic. the citizens sent Socrates to his death and direct democracy had failed. can truth and wisdom come to the surface. And this is the point of the dialogues. Plato argued. 5 . It is the education of the total individual. For Plato. taste. their city would continue to decay. this knowledge is already there." And this he is writing less than one hundred years after the brilliant age of Periclean democracy. The Republic. independent of the world we may experience through our senses. I would like to suggest that The Republic is not a blueprint for a future society. Instead. the citizens are the least desirable participants in government. Plato asks what is knowledge? what is illusion? what is reality? how do we know? what makes a thing. paideia refers to the process whereby the physical. Instead. a philosopher-king or guardian should hold the reigns of power. statesmanship. sound and smell – and the essence or Form of that reality. Plato wanted to rescue Athens from degeneration by reviving that sense of community that had at one time made the polis great. Instead. it is not universal. The only way to do this. The unphilosophical man – that is. they are questions about knowledge itself. it is particular. touch. Nearly impossible to translate into modern idiom. But because we trust our senses. After all. In other words. He distinguishes between the reality presented to us by our senses – sight. it was Athenian democracy that convicted Socrates. our sense impressions oftentimes fail us. An aristocracy if you will – an aristocracy of the very best – the best of the aristoi. is a dialogue which discusses the education necessary to produce such a society. only in dialogue.knowledge is present in the human mind at grasp the Forms is to grasp ultimate truth. In The Republic.of what is unchanging. For only in conversation.

as one historian has put it: "The point is. Physics. Va. who tried to elicit the truth by what has become known as the Socratic method. Aristotle styled himself a biologist – he is said to have spent his honeymoon collecting specimens at the seashore.C. as had Plato. it was their inquiry into knowledge that has served as the foundation for all subsequent inquiries. ethics and politics. At the age of eighteen. It too was closed by Justinian in A. but that they resided in the thing itself. on the other hand. the Greeks passed on to the west a spirit of rational inquiry that is very much our own intellectual property. music. He too was charged with impiety. when present. Aristotle was a "polymath" – he knew a great deal about nearly everything. Very little of Aristotle's writings remain extant. is noticed. many have argued with W. Aristotle argued that there were universal principles but that they are derived from experience. drama. Mam. The one field in which he did not excel was mathematics. H. Like Democritus. Regardless. It perhaps goes without saying that the western intellectual tradition. It is almost fitting that one of Plato's greatest students ought to have also been his greatest critics. For Aristotle did not agree with Plato that there is an essence or Form or Absolute behind every object in the phenomenal world. aesthetics. In fact. U.C. for better or worse. the personal tutor of Alexander the Great.C. the Lyceum in 335 B. as it had been for Plato. From our experience with horses. we can deduce the essence of "horseness. fully human. Aristotle lectured on astronomy. Rationalism – knowledge is a priori (comes before experience) and Empiricism – knowledge is a posteriori (comes after experience). Aristotle had confidence in sense perception. must begin with an investigation of ancient Greek thought. Aristotle's epistemology is perhaps closer to our own. physics. Plato. He could not accept. From Thales and the matter philosophers to the empiricism of Aristotle. His father was the personal physician to Philip of Macedon and Aristotle was. we have the essence of those two philosophical traditions which have occupied the western intellectual tradition for the past 2500 years." In other words. 529. but fled rather than face the charges – I suppose that tells you something about Aristotle. Aristotle argued that that there were Forms and Absolutes. Auden that "had Greek civilization never existed we would never have become fully conscious. But his students recorded nearly everything he discussed at the Lyceum. for instance. And there. Indeed. Socrates was a true philosopher. logic. who was born in 470 B. zoology. which is to say that we would never have become. However. poetry. As a scientist. whereas Plato suggested that man was born with knowledge. Aristotle also started his own school." Aristotle Michael Fowler. 9/3/2008 Beginnings of Science and Philosophy in Athens Let us first recap briefly the emergence of philosophy and science in Athens after around 450 B. Aristotle became the student at the Academy of Plato (who was then sixty years of age). a lover of wisdom. tragedy.Aristotle Plato's most famous student was ARISTOTLE (384-322 B." This universal. that there was a world of Forms beyond space and time. And while we may never think of Plato or Aristotle as we carry on in our daily lives. for a time at least. It all began with Socrates. he had little patience with Plato's higher world of the Forms.D. As a result. as well as the history of western philosophy." Or. Aristotle argued that knowledge comes from experience. was the true object of human knowledge. This may account for the fact that Aristotle's philosophy is one of the more difficult to digest. in the space of just a few decades. I suppose you could argue that Aristotle came from the Jack Webb school of epistemology – "nothing but the facts.). that an elephant. in which by 6 . was a master of geometry. the books to which Aristotle's name is attributed are really little more than student notebooks.C.

Plato’s ideas are set out in the Republic. (Picture from http://flickr. but there was a sign over the door stating that some knowledge of mathematics was needed to enter—nothing else was mentioned! Plato in particular loved geometry. Plato founded an Academy. Aristotle. Plato considered education in mathematics and astronomy to be excellent ways of sharpening the mind. mathematics and science. In fact. Democracy didn’t seem to have worked very well in their recent past.. Notice that this approach to physics is not heavily dependent on observation and experiment. the Middle East. even though the Athenians considered Macedonia the boondocks. photographer Eric Gaba (User:Sting). when his father Philip died in 336 B. For example. he wasn’t a favorite of many establishment politicians. and they discussed everything: politics. Aristotle’s lessons had. a landowner on whose estate Plato and other philosophers met regularly. economics. he could argue very convincingly that traditional morality had no logical basis. In particular. and felt that the beauty of the five regular solids he was the first to categorize meant they must be fundamental to nature. Aristotle came to Athens to study at Plato’s Academy. if any. Aristotle and Alexander We turn now to the third member of this trio. conquered Persia. At the age of eighteen. some of Central Asia and the Punjab in India. The important point is that this was the first university. One of their main concerns was to find what constituted an ideal city-state. in the Louvre. He stayed for three years.C. and over the next thirteen years Alexander organized Greece as a federation of city states. July 2005. southern Afghanistan. Aristotle took a position as tutor to King Philip of Macedonia’s thirteen year old son Alexander. but Alexander. such clarity often reveals that the other person’s ideas don’t in fact make much sense. The picture below is a fortress built by Alexander’s army in Herat. like his father. All the people involved were probably . It is not clear what impact.C. author koldo / Koldo Hormaza . at the northern end of the Aegean.) Five years after Plato’s death. The name came (at least in legend) from one Academus. Plato was a young man when Athens was humiliated by Sparta in the Peloponnesian War.a series of probing questions he forced successive further clarification of thought.) 7 . near Macedonia. Plato’s Idea of a Good Education What is interesting about the Republic from our point of view is the emphasis on a good education for the elite group in charge of Plato’s ideal society. Egypt. Of course. born in 384 B. Alexander did his best to spread Greek civilization as far as he could. Students at the Academy covered a vast range of subjects.C. philosophy. in Stagira. and Plato probably attributed the loss to Athens’ being a democracy. they must somehow be the shapes of the atoms. as opposed to the kind of fascist warbased state Sparta was. in Thrace. born in 428 B.C. Aristotle’s father was the family physician of King Philip of Macedonia. He mostly lectured to the sons of well-to-do aristocrats. Afghanistan. He believed that intense mental exercise of this kind had the same effect on the mind that a rigorous physical regimen did on the body. one of whom was Plato. Macedonia had an excellent army. (Statue is a Roman copy of a Greek original. was a great admirer of Greek civilization. and still standing. and stayed there twenty years until Plato’s death in 348 B. morality. so that although Socrates made a lot of things much clearer.

After Aristotle. Aristotle had the first science department. and his work was of such quality that it was accepted by all.C. He didn’t care for Plato’s rather communal Utopia. ethics. there was no comparable professional science enterprise for over 2. This all sounds uncomfortably similar to Jefferson’s Virginia. an old temple of Apollo.) Aristotle’s preferred mode of operation was to spend a lot of time walking around talking with his colleagues. Aristotle Founds the Lyceum Aristotle came back to Athens in 335 B. he quickly found himself in serious trouble with the Church. which in fact became the most important center of Greek science later on. and spent the next twelve years running his own version of an academy. He first clearly defined what was scientific knowledge. 8 . He saw nothing wrong with slavery. but. He died of a fever at age 33. a little weak in physics. The Greek cities became restless.He founded Greek cities in many places. so slaves should not be Greeks. because when Galileo questioned some of the assertions concerning simple physics. The Aristotelians are often called the Peripatetics: people who walk around. perhaps not too surprising since Greek was a central part of a gentleman’s education in Jefferson’s day. which was called the Lyceum. In other words. He agreed that the highest human faculty was reason. because for one thing he feared the children would be raised by nobody. His ideal society was one run by cultured gentlemen. he single-handedly invented science as the collective. defining the subject matter 2. named after the place in Athens where it was located. provided the slave was naturally inferior to the master. This was unfortunate. in addition to studying what he called “first philosophy” . (French high schools are named lycee after Aristotle’s establishment.metaphysics and mathematics. truly excellent in biology..000 years. considering the difficulties involved by reviewing the generally accepted views on the subject. Aristotle’s Science Aristotle’s approach to science differed from Plato’s. the things Plato had worked on. as we shall see. What he achieved in those years in Athens was to begin a school of organized scientific inquiry on a scale far exceeding anything that had gone before. and without which all of Greek learning might have been lost.000 years later. then write down his arguments. from physics and mechanics to biology. and why it should be sought. in which the women were shared by the men. Perhaps being raised in the house of a physician had given him an interest in living things. depending on the problems encountered. Plato’s Academy had the equivalent of a university mathematics department. when he demanded to be treated as a god. Aristotle’s Method Aristotle’s method of investigation varied from one natural science to another. and the children raised by everybody. organized enterprise it is today. the greatest being Alexandria in Egypt. presenting his own arguments and solutions. and its supreme activity was contemplation. predictably but rather ungratefully. Aristotle thought it also very important to study “second philosophy”: the world around us. but it usually included: 1. However. Aristotle wrote extensively on all subjects: politics. and had long been a part of the official orthodoxy of the Christian Church 2. logic and science. metaphysics. and suggestions of earlier writers 3.

he thought the matter was provided by the mother. the moving cause is the carpenter and the final cause is the reason the table was made in the first place.its “final cause” . His study of nature was a search for “causes. Another possibility was that an argument led to a dilemma: an apparent contradiction. The arguments he used were of two types: dialectical. he thought the “final cause” of an acorn was to be an oak tree. to the great annoyance of Aristotelians 2. This has also been translated by Bertrand Russell (History of Western Philosophy) as the “nature” of an acorn is to become an oak tree. the moving cause was the father and the final cause was to become a fully grown human being.Again.” What. As we shall see later. the form was a rational two-legged animal. However. Galileo used exactly this kind of argument against Aristotle himself. and empirical. so precision of definitions and usage of terms is essential to productive discussion in any discipline. His motivation is made clear by the following quote from him (in Lloyd. exactly are these “causes”? He gave some examples (we follow Lloyd’s discussion here). based on logical deduction. Aristotle often refuted an opposing argument by showing that it led to an absurd conclusion. Aristotle was laying down the standard professional approach to scientific research. Of course. p105): For even in those kinds [of animals] that are not attractive to the senses. but apart from such exceptional circumstances. say. to try to understand how each fitted into the grand scheme of nature. some accident may intervene. He did not believe nature to be conscious. The idea that every organism is beautifully crafted for a particular function . fulfilling this final cause is not inevitable. “Causes” In contrast to Plato. dilemmas could sometimes be resolved by realizing that there was some ambiguity in a definition. It is interesting to note that this whole approach to studying nature fits very well with Christianity. nature is regular and orderly. for a family to eat at. For man. this is called reductio ad absurdum (reducing something to absurdity). To give another example of this central concept. this is the pattern modern research papers follow. Aristotle practiced detailed observation and dissection of plants and animals. who felt the only worthwhile science to be the contemplation of abstract the 9 . and the importance of the different organs of animals. and similarly in other organisms. plant. inanimate. he believed this final cause to be somehow innate in a human being. the form is the shape. especially the maturing of complex organisms. He stated that any object (animal. that is. based on practical considerations.000 years after Aristotle. for example. the matter is wood. to view them as having innately the express purpose of developing into their final form. yet to the intellect the craftsmanship of nature provides extraordinary pleasures for those who can recognize the causes in things and who are naturally inclined to philosophy. It is certainly very natural on viewing the living world. whatever) had four attributes: • • • • matter form moving cause final cause For a table.

as opposed to abstract geometric considerations. Biology Aristotle’s really great contribution to natural science was in biology. Thus both Aristotle and Plato saw in the living creatures around them overwhelming evidence for “final causes”. wet and dry are qualities immediately apparent to anyone. the animal was moving to someplace it would rather be. for some reason. Aristotle seemed a lot closer to reality. that the atomic and mathematical approach was on the right track after all. including a hundred and twenty kinds of fish and sixty kinds of insect. which do not seem to relate to our physical senses but to our reason. the way things really seem to be. suggested that maybe creatures of different types could come together and produce mixed offspring. that is to say. just as its natural growth fulfilled the nature of the animal. it leads us astray when applied to the motion of inanimate objects. because as Aristotle pointed out. For Aristotle. In contrast. And Why Things Move It is first essential to realize that the world Aristotle saw around him in everyday life was very different indeed from that we see today. This motion all had a purpose. Every modern child has since birth seen cars and planes moving around. most of the motion seen in fourth century Greece was people. for example. (Actually. the words he used for wet and dry also have the connotation of softness and hardness). and there was no evidence of the mixed creatures Empedocles suggested. on the other hand. He wrote in detail about five hundred different animals in his works. how they reacted to fire or water. air and fire. and of “final cause” in the sense of design for a particular purpose. and in fact his work on this point was disbelieved for centuries. Innumerable analyses along these lines of commonly observed phenomena must have made this seem a coherent approach to understanding the natural world. Empedocles. Aristotle’s whole approach is more in touch with the way things present themselves to the senses. water evaporates on heating because it goes from cold and wet to hot and wet. and in fact until relatively recently. so the motion was directed by the animal’s will. evidence for design in nature. animals and birds. in his view. Elements Aristotle’s theory of the basic constituents of matter looks to a modern scientist perhaps something of a backward step from the work of the atomists and Plato. He was the first to use dissection extensively. this motion was therefore fulfilling the “nature” of the animal. It has turned out. he gave a precise description of a kind of dog-fish that was not seen again by scientists until the nineteenth century. hot and cold. than do inanimate objects. He probably thought that the Platonic approach in terms of abstract concepts. men begat men and oxen begat oxen. He discussed the properties of real substances in terms of their “elemental” composition at great length. becoming air. and those well adapted to their surroundings would survive. This would seem like an early hint of Darwinism.grand scheme of nature certainly leads naturally to the thought that all this has been designed by somebody. as we shall see. water. Dynamics: Motion. and soon finds out that these things are not alive. how. like people and animals. and each of these to be a combination of two of four opposites. but it was not accepted. but at the time. In one famous example. all very much alive. and wet and dry. this seems a very natural way to describe phenomena. Living creatures and their parts provide far richer evidence of form. was a completely wrongheaded way to go about the problem. centuries later. Although this idea of the “nature” of things accords well with growth of animals and plants. 10 . a different design for each species to fit it for its place in the grand scheme of things. Hot and cold. Aristotle assumed all substances to be compounds of four elements: earth.

it wouldn’t stop when you stop pushing. since a stone will fall through water. Natural Motion and Violent Motion Of course. of course. Heavier things fall faster. Galileo realized the importance of friction in these situations. A stone’s natural tendency.To account for motion of things obviously not alive. is to fall. The surprising thing is. the speed being proportional to the weight. Aristotle termed such forced motion “violent” motion as opposed to natural motion. for example. The speed of fall of a given object depends inversely on the density of the medium it is falling through. pushing a box of books across a carpet. For violent motion. he concluded that a vacuum cannot exist. from the modern point of view. (Of course.) (Question: I am walking steadily upstairs carrying a large stone when I stumble and both I and the stone go clattering down the stairs. 2. has both earth and air in it.) 11 . This general theory of how elements move has to be elaborated. things also sometimes move because they are pushed. but we can lift it. but even Galileo did not realize that. when applied to real materials. say. because if it did. an appealing quantitative simplicity. From the second assertion above. since it has zero density. however. if left alone and unsupported. Aristotle stated that the speed of the moving object was in direct proportion to the applied force. this was not something he considered important. so the rules at first appear plausible. It would not have taken long to find out if half a brick fell at half the speed of a whole brick. This means first that if you stop pushing. the falling of a stone was considered natural motion that did not require any outside help. so. or a Grecian ox dragging a plough through a field. if you drop a stone and a piece of paper. He suggested that the motion of such inanimate objects could be understood by postulating that elements tend to seek their natural place in the order of things. since it does not sink in water. since it shoots upward through air. for example. The term “violent” here connotes that some external force is applied to the body to cause the motion. which are mixtures of elements. he extended the concept of the “nature” of something to inanimate matter. gravity is an external force that causes a stone to fall. all bodies would fall through it at infinite speed which is clearly nonsense. Obviously. the object stops moving. water flows downwards too. air moves up (bubbles in water) and fire goes upwards most strongly of all. In contrast. in view of Aristotle’s painstaking observations of so many things. he didn’t check out these rules in any serious way. He would conclude that wood. the same body will fall twice as fast through a medium of half the density. such as a stone dropped from the hand. Is the motion of the stone before the stumble natural or violent? What about the motion of the stone (and myself) after the stumble?) Aristotle’s Laws of Motion Aristotle was the first to think quantitatively about the speeds involved in these movements. so earth moves downwards most strongly. it’s clear that the heavier thing does fall faster. and a stone falling through water is definitely slowed down by the water. If you put the box on a sled and pushed it across ice. but not so strongly. Notice that these rules have a certain elegance. This certainly sounds like a reasonable rule for. He made two quantitative assertions about how things fall (natural motion): 1. And. or even throw it through the air. (This intuitively appealing picture. fails to take account of the large frictional force between the box and the carpet. say. Before Newton.

R.Planetary Dynamics The idea that motion (of inanimate objects) can be accounted for in terms of them seeking their natural place clearly cannot be applied to the planets. that the philosopher investigates the form and the universal. Somewhere between here and the moon a change must take place.virginia. N. 1970. He evidently found falling stones a lot less interesting than living creatures. Books I used to prepare this lecture: Early Greek Science: Thales to Aristotle.Y. but this wasn’t very convincing. This was not very satisfying for various reasons. some of the physics . unmatched in antiquity and for centuries to come. in particular. An excellent inexpensive paperback giving a more detailed presentation of many of the subjects we have discussed. The essential difference between them was that Plato felt mathematical reasoning could arrive at the truth with little outside help. mainly on philosophy but with a fair amount of science and social why does sunlight seem so warm? He thought it somehow generated heat by friction from the sun’s motion. E. and that the only true knowledge is that which is irrefutable. His logical method of argument gave a framework for putting knowledge together. My sections on Method and Causes. different. gave an authority to all his writings. History of Western Philosophy.html 12 . but of a fifth. to determine form by detailed. who agreed with each other that the world is the product of rational design. It is perhaps worth reiterating the difference between Plato and Aristotle. water. whose motion is apparently composed of circles. but where? Recall that Aristotle did not believe that there was a void anywhere. Yet the sheer scale of his enterprise. and deducing new results.physics. If the sun has no heat component. Aristotle’s Achievements To summarize: Aristotle’s philosophy laid out an approach to the investigation of all natural phenomena.was not up to his usual high standards. follow Lloyd’s treatment. previous index next PDF http://galileoandeinstein. He created what amounted to a fully-fledged professional scientific enterprise. either. G. It must be admitted that some of his work unfortunately. Norton. whose natural motion was circular. and thus arrive at final causes. but Aristotle believed detailed empirical investigations of nature were essential if progress was to be made in understanding the natural world. An opinionated but very entertaining book. air and fire. Lloyd. element called aither. systematic work. Bertrand Russell. Aristotle therefore postulated that the heavenly bodies were not made up of the four elements earth. on a scale comparable to a modern university science department.

Aristotle. Family.Plato From Wikipedia. Art. 348–347 BC (age approx 80) Region Western Philosophy Plato Early life · Works Platonism · Epistemology Idealism / Realism Theory of Forms Form of the Good Third man argument Euthyphro dilemma Five regimes Philosopher king Allegories and metaphors Ring of Gyges · The cave The divided line · The sun Ship of state · Myth of Er The chariot Related articles The Academy in Athens Socratic problem Commentaries on Plato Neoplatonism and Christianity v•d•e Middle Platonism Neoplatonism Plato (English pronunciation: /ˈpleɪtoʊ/. writer of philosophical dialogues. Plato (Πλάτων) Full name Born Died Era School Main interests Rhetoric. Politics. Literature. Along with his mentor. Plato's dialogues have been used to teach a range of subjects. Plato's sophistication as a writer is evident in his Socratic dialogues. mathematician. "broad"[2]. including philosophy. the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. logic. Virtue. rhetoric and mathematics. Plátōn. search For other uses. 428–427 BC[1] Ancient philosophy Platonism Athens Athens c. Plato helped to lay the foundations of Western philosophy and science. 13 . see Plato (disambiguation) and Platon (disambiguation).[3] Plato was originally a student of Socrates. Plato's writings have been published in several fashions. thirty-six dialogues and thirteen letters have been ascribed to him. this has led to several conventions regarding the naming and referencing of Plato's texts. Greek: Πλάτων. Militarism Notable ideas Platonic realism Plato (Πλάτων) c. and his student. the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation. Education. and was as much influenced by his thinking as by his apparently unjust execution. and founder of the Academy in Athens. Epistemology. was a Classical Greek philosopher. Justice. Socrates. 428/427 BC[a] – 348/347 BC).

Contents • • • • • • • • • • 1 Biography o 1.1.1 Birth and family  1. and a daughter Potone.5 The State o 2.[8] 14 .3 Education o 1. Ariston and Perictione had three other children.5 Platonic Scholarship o 3. in his Memorabilia.1. most modern scholars believe that he was born in Athens or Aegina[b] between 429 and 423 BC.2 Narration of the dialogues o 3.1 Primary sources (Greek and Roman) o 8. reported by Diogenes Laertius.4 Epistemology o 2. and the king of Messenia.1 Recurrent themes o 2. these were two sons.6 Unwritten Doctrine 3 Works o 3. Adeimantus and Glaucon were older than Plato. whose family boasted of a relationship with the famous Athenian lawmaker and lyric poet Solon. the brief oligarchic regime. Adeimantus and Glaucon.3 Plato and Socrates 2 Philosophy o 2. Xenophon presents Glaucon as younger than Plato. but what is certain is that he belonged to an aristocratic and influential family.6 Text history 4 Criticism 5 See also 6 Notes 7 Footnotes 8 References o 8.[6] According to the Republic.4 Unity and Diversity of the Dialogues o 3.2 Later life o 1.[5] Perictione was sister of Charmides and niece of Critias.1 Composition of the dialogues o 3.2 Name  1.[6] Besides Plato himself.[7] Nevertheless.3 Theory of Forms o 2.2 Secondary sources 9 Further reading 10 External links Biography Early life Main article: Early life of Plato Birth and family The definite place and time of Plato's birth are not known. Ariston traced his descent from the king of Athens. both prominent figures of the Thirty Tyrants. According to a disputed tradition.3 Trial of Socrates o 3.[4] Plato's mother was Perictione.2 Metaphysics o 2.1 Early life  1. the mother of Speusippus (the nephew and successor of Plato as head of his philosophical Academy). Based on ancient sources. which followed on the collapse of Athens at the end of the Peloponnesian War (404-403 BC). Codrus.[a] His father was Ariston.1. Melanthus.

Plato used to introduce his distinguished relatives into his dialogues.[13] Pyrilampes had a son from a previous marriage. Plato was sold into slavery and almost faced death in Cyrene. but also the happier days of his own family". the most prominent one being Aristotle..[18] According to the sources mentioned by Diogenes (all dating from the Alexandrian period). and argued that the legend about his name being Aristocles originated in the Hellenistic age.[22] Plato had also attended courses of philosophy. when it was closed by Justinian I of Byzantium. [14] Perictione gave birth to Pyrilampes' second son.[10] Ariston appears to have died in Plato's childhood. who saw it as a threat to the propagation of Christianity. according to Plato's Seventh Letter.. her mother's brother.[12] who had served many times as an ambassador to the Persian court and was a friend of Pericles." on account of his robust figure.[21] Dicaearchus went so far as to say that Plato wrestled at the Isthmian games. [11] Perictione then married Pyrilampes. Egypt and Cyrene. "the opening scene of the Charmides is a glorification of the whole [family] connection . Many intellectuals were schooled in the Academy. the philosopher was named Aristocles after his grandfather.[27] Throughout his later life. the leader of the democratic faction in Athens. Sicily. some. music. [19] In the 21st century some scholars disputed Diogenes. although the precise dating of his death is difficult. his uncle.[17] Name According to Diogenes Laërtius. but failed of his purpose. Demus. became one of Plato's disciples. but his wrestling coach. an augury of the sweetness of style in which he would discourse philosophy. and. dubbed him "Platon". he first became acquainted with Cratylus (a disciple of Heraclitus. Adeimantus and Glaucon take prominent parts in the Republic.. meaning "broad. however.Ariston tried to force his attentions on Perictione.[c] Apuleius informs us that Speusippus praised Plato's quickness of mind and modesty as a boy.[23] Education Later life Plato may have traveled in Italy. then the ancient Greek god Apollo appeared to him in a vision. bees had settled on the lips of Plato. and the "first fruits of his youth infused with hard work and love of study". According to Burnet. and this suggests a considerable amount of family pride. who appears in Parmenides. Dionysius II seemed to accept Plato's teachings. say that it received its name from an ancient hero". Plato derived his name from the breadth (platytês) of his eloquence. [25] The Academy was "a large enclosure of ground that was once the property of a citizen at Athens named Academus. who was famous for his beauty. Critias speaks in both Charmides and Protagoras. but the tyrant himself turned against Plato. Dionysus expelled Dion and kept Plato 15 . During this first trip Dionysus's brother-in-law. and gymnastics by the most distinguished teachers of his time. Ariston left Perictione unmolested. but he became suspicious of Dion.[20] Plato must have been instructed in grammar. before meeting Socrates.[16] From these and other references one can reconstruct his family tree.[24] Said to have returned to Athens at the age of forty. Dion of Syracuse. or else because he was very wide (platýs) across the forehead.[26] and it operated until AD 529. while he was sleeping as an infant. Antiphon. Ariston of Argos. Plato founded one of the earliest known organized schools in Western Civilization on a plot of land in the Grove of Hecademus or Academus. Dion requested Plato return to Syracuse to tutor Dionysus II and guide him to become a philosopher king.. or to mention them with some precision: Charmides has one named after him. According to Diogenes Laertius. a prominent pre-Socratic Greek philosopher) and the Heraclitean doctrines.[9] Another legend related that. before an admirer bought Plato's freedom and sent him home.[15] In contrast to his reticence about himself. a city at war with Athens. After Dionysius's death. Plato initially visited Syracuse while it was under the rule of Dionysus. the half-brother of Plato. as a result of it. Plato became entangled with the politics of Syracuse. Plato's dialogues are not only a memorial to Socrates.

Critobolus. but Socrates is unconcerned. and questioning why their fathers and brothers did not step forward to testify against him if he was indeed guilty of such a crime (33d-34a). in lieu of the death penalty proposed by Meletus (38b). he is found recruiting as a disciple a young man whose inheritance has been squandered. especially in his Apology of Socrates. "no writing of Plato exists or ever will exist.[28] Aristotle attributes a different doctrine with respect to the ideas to Plato and Socrates (Metaphysics 987b1–11). In that dialogue. a fresco by Raphael. unlike Plato's Forms that exist beyond and outside the ordinary range of human understanding. Putting it in a nutshell. A boy in ancient Athens was socially located by his family identity. Plato never speaks in his own voice in his dialogues. representing his belief in The Forms Plato often discusses the father-son relationship and the "question" of whether a father's interest in his sons has much to do with how well his sons turn out. towards whom he displays more concern than his biological sons. explaining Plato's absence by saying. if the Letter is Plato's. given Socrates' reputation for irony. and Apollodorus as offering to pay a fine of 30 minas on Socrates' behalf. Socrates was not a family man. while holding a copy of his Nicomachean Ethics in his hand. In the Second Letter. In the Theaetetus. Socrates' disciples. Socrates is presented as mentioning Plato by name as one of those youths close enough to him to have been corrupted. who was apparently a midwife. the final qualification seems to call into question the dialogues' historical fidelity. Eventually Plato left Syracuse. Plato and Socrates Plato and Socrates in a medieval depiction The precise relationship between Plato and Socrates remains an area of contention among scholars. Socrates twice compares the relationship of the older man and his boy lover to the father-son relationship (Lysis 213a. Aristotle merely suggests that his idea of forms can be discovered through investigation of the natural world. A divine fatalist. Xenophon and Aristophanes seem to present a somewhat different portrait of Socrates than Plato paints. Some have called attention to the problem of taking Plato's Socrates to be his mouthpiece. Crito reminds Socrates that orphans are at the mercy of chance. Plato holds his Timaeus and gestures to the heavens. Plato makes it clear.403b). it says. "Plato was ill" (Phaedo 59b). In the Phaedo. Plato is mentioned along with Crito. and repeatedly ventures the idea that good character is a gift from the gods. In any case. but those now said to be his are those of a Socrates become beautiful and new" (341c). and in the Phaedo.against his will. Republic 3. and saw himself as the son of his mother. Philosophy Recurrent themes Plato (left) and Aristotle (right). 16 . if he were in fact guilty of corrupting the youth. a fellow disciple of Plato. that he was Socrates' most devoted young follower. a detail of The School of Athens. Aristotle gestures to the earth. Dion would return to overthrow Dionysus and ruled Syracuse for a short time before being usurped by Calippus. say they will feel "fatherless" when he is gone. and Plato often refers to his characters in terms of their paternal and fraternal relationships. representing his belief in knowledge through empirical observation and experience. Socrates mocks men who spent exorbitant fees on tutors and trainers for their sons. Later. the title character lists those who were in attendance at the prison on Socrates' last day.

and those who do. and the most obscure. perception and reality. Socrates is often found arguing that knowledge is not empirical. The allegory of the cave (begins Republic 7. and laughter as well. Socrates says that he who sees with his eyes is blind. an expression that means literally.In several dialogues. "happily without the muses" (Theaetetus 156a). and other forms of divine madness (drunkenness.[29] He maintains this view somewhat at his own expense. In the Theaetetus. According to Socrates. they find themselves objects of scorn and ridicule. virtue and vice. and that it comes from divine insight. such as the Phaedo. rhetoric and rhapsody. In Ion. and people like him. access to higher insights about reality. In other words. Socrates gives no hint of the disapproval of Homer that he expresses in the Republic. nature and custom. human nature and sexuality. Several dialogues tackle questions about art: Socrates says that poetry is inspired by the muses. justice and medicine. While most people take the objects of their senses to be real if anything is. and with common sense. physical objects are themselves fleeting phenomena caused by more substantial causes. 17 . Republic and Phaedrus Plato advocates a belief in the immortality of the soul. religion and science. or study. the ideals of which they are mere instances. physical objects and physical events are "shadows" of their ideal or perfect forms. Socrates floats the idea that Knowledge is a matter of recollection. and this idea is most famously captured in his allegory of the cave. and yet in the Republic wants to outlaw Homer's great poetry. The dialogue Ion suggests that Homer's Iliad functioned in the ancient Greek world as the Bible does today in the modern Christian world: as divinely inspired literature that can provide moral guidance. and exist only to the extent that they instantiate the perfect versions of themselves. Just as shadows are temporary. if only it can be properly interpreted. crime and punishment. as Socrates often does. and body and soul. Socrates inverts the common man's intuition about what is knowable and what is real. On politics and art. Socrates thinks that perfect justice exists (although it is not clear where) and his own trial would be a cheap copy of it. love and wisdom. Metaphysics Main article: Platonic realism "Platonism" is a term coined by scholars to refer to the intellectual consequences of denying. pleasure and pain. Socrates complains of his forgetfulness. Socrates says in the Republic that people who take the sun-lit world of the senses to be good and real are living pitifully in a den of evil and ignorance. or cave of ignorance. most notably the Republic. but when they go back down for a visit or to help other people up. and is not rational. he says such people are "eu a-mousoi". because in many dialogues. and dreaming) in the Phaedrus (265a–c). Socrates is contemptuous of people who think that something has to be graspable in the hands to be real. Socrates's idea that reality is unavailable to those who use their senses is what puts him at odds with the common man. such people live without the divine inspiration that gives him. inconsequential epiphenomena produced by physical objects. Socrates admits that few climb out of the den. More than one dialogue contrasts knowledge and opinion. observation. and more explicitly in his description of the divided line. and several dialogues end with long speeches imagining the afterlife. eroticism. For example. and not of learning. Socrates and his company of disputants had something to say. He speaks approvingly of this. the reality of the material world. In several dialogues. not only have a terrible struggle to attain the heights.514a) is a paradoxical analogy wherein Socrates argues that the invisible world is the most intelligible ("noeton") and that the visible world ("(h)oraton") is the least knowable. In many middle period dialogues.

that the most wisdom the masses can muster is the wise choice of a ruler. This is the main thesis of Socrates in the Republic. that only people who have climbed out of the cave and cast their eyes on a vision of goodness are fit to rule. Theory of Forms Main article: Theory of Forms The Theory of Forms (Greek: ιδέες) typically refers to the belief expressed by Socrates in some of Plato's dialogues. The theory has been of incalculable influence in the history of Western philosophy and religion. so too is the account derived from them. Socrates elicits a fact concerning a geometrical construction from a slave boy. In other words. are roughly speaking archetypes or abstract representations of the many types of things. The word metaphysics derives from the fact that Aristotle's musings about divine reality came after ("meta") his lecture notes on his treatise on nature ("physics"). Edmund Gettier famously demonstrated the problems of the justified true belief account of knowledge. and the Parmenides Plato himself associates knowledge with the apprehension of unchanging Forms and their relationships to one another (which he calls "expertise" in Dialectic). who could not have otherwise known the fact (due to the slave boy's lack of education). they are universals). This interpretation is based on a reading of the Theaetetus wherein Plato argues that belief is to be distinguished from knowledge on account of justification. if one derives one's account of something by way of the non-sensible forms. according to Socrates. and an unchanging and unseen world of forms. that can only be perceived by reason (Greek: λογική). Socrates sometimes seems to recognise two worlds: the apparent world which is constantly changing. and Plato's "metaphysics" is understood as Socrates' division of reality into the warring and irreconcilable domains of the material and the spiritual. Republic. Socrates concludes. Thus is born the idea of the "philosopher-king". 18 . in an eternal. It is only in this sense that Plato uses the term "knowledge". On the other hand. non-experiential form. In the Meno. Plato himself argues in the Timaeus that knowledge is always proportionate to the realm from which it is gained. that the material world as it seems to us is not the real world. an influential view that informed future developments in modern analytic epistemology.The allegory of the cave (often said by scholars to represent Plato's own epistemology and metaphysics) is intimately connected to his political ideology (often said to also be Plato's own). The forms. Really. which may perhaps be a cause of what is apparent. And opinions are characterized by a lack of necessity and stability. The term is in fact applied to Aristotle's own teacher. because these forms are unchanging. In other words. if one derives one's account of something experientially. More explicitly. (that is. and properties we feel and see around us. imports modern analytic and empiricist categories onto Plato himself and is better read on its own terms than as Plato's view. but only an image or copy of the real world. the views therein attained will be mere opinions. Statesman. The knowledge must be present. Many years later. Epistemology Main article: Platonic epistemology Many have interpreted Plato as stating that knowledge is justified true belief. however. the wise person who accepts the power thrust upon him by the people who are wise enough to choose a good master. Socrates spoke of forms in formulating a solution to the problem of universals. in the Sophist. This interpretation. Socrates uses a geometrical example to expound Plato's view that knowledge in this latter sense is acquired by recollection. because the world of sense is in flux. Socrates claims that the enlightened men of society must be forced from their divine contemplations and compelled to run the city according to their lofty insights.

Plato. cities will have no rest from evils. carpenters. and desires combined in the human body. that is. ivory. in addition to paintings.. in love with wisdom. A large part of the Republic then addresses how the educational system should be set up to produce these philosopher kings. According to him. containing farmers. and pastries". especially on the idea of an ideal state or government. because Plato wrote dialogues. However. The appetite/spirit/reason stand for different parts of the body. According to this model. which represents the head. merchants. merchants. drawing after a painting by Swedish painter Carl Johan Wahlbom Plato describes these "philosopher kings" as "those who love the sight of truth" (Republic 475c) and supports the idea with the analogy of a captain and his ship or a doctor and his medicine. incense. which represents the chest. However. Some of the most famous doctrines are contained in the Republic during his middle period. which represents the abdomen. rational. (Warriors or Guardians) — those who are adventurous. strong and brave. These correspond to the "spirit" part of the soul. examined to determine how it is that injustice and justice grow in a city (Republic 372e). The body parts symbolize the castes of society. and war. plumbers. asserts that societies have a tripartite class structure corresponding to the appetite/spirit/reason structure of the individual soul. in the armed forces. These correspond to the "appetite" part of the soul.The State Papirus Oxyrhynchus. In addition. it is assumed that Socrates is often speaking for Plato." (Republic 473c-d) Plato in his academy. (Rulers or Philosopher Kings) — those who are intelligent. a multitude of occupations such as poets and hunters. etc. but lacking the guardian class of philosopher-kings as well as delicacies such as "perfumed oils. with fragment of Plato's Republic Plato's philosophical views had many societal implications. (Workers) — the labourers. ranchers. Instead of rhetoric and persuasion. self-controlled. As Plato puts it: "Until philosophers rule as kings or those who are now called kings and leading men genuinely and adequately philosophise. sailing and health are not things that everyone is qualified to practice by nature. the "true" and "healthy" city is instead the one first outlined in book II of the Republic. couches. 369c–372d. According to Socrates. will the human race. I think. craftsmen. Governing.. Protective. masons. reason. Plato says reason and wisdom should govern. as well as in the Laws and the Statesman. or the will.[30] • • • Productive. nor. prostitutes. until political power and philosophy entirely coincide.. and wageearners. farmers. it must be taken into account that the ideal city outlined in the Republic is qualified by Socrates as the ideal luxurious city. Socrates is attempting to make an image of a rightly 19 . the principles of Athenian democracy (as it existed in his day) are rejected as only a few are fit to rule. gold. the ideal city is used as an image to illuminate the state of one's soul. There is some discrepancy between his early and later views. while the many natures who at present pursue either one exclusively are forcibly prevented from doing so. These correspond to the "reason" part of the soul and are very few. through the words of Socrates. well suited to make decisions for the community. This assumption may not be true in all cases.

e. Nevertheless the first important witness who mentions its existence is Aristotle. However.. the tyrant. decline from an aristocracy (rule by the best) to a timocracy (rule by the honorable).) This is emphasised within the Republic as Plato describes the event of mutiny onboard a ship. and then later goes on to describe the different kinds of humans that can be observed. hence some belittled the matter.. Wisdom is knowledge about the Good or the right relations between all that exists. He argues that it is better to be ruled by a bad tyrant." The same argument is repeated in Plato's Seventh Letter (344 c): "every serious man in dealing with really serious subjects carefully avoids writing. the philosopher king image was used by many after Plato to justify their personal political beliefs." Such secrecy is necessary in order not "to expose them to unseemly and degrading treatment" (344 d). physical strength. but only used to magnify the different kinds of individual humans and the state of their soul. including numbers. The ideal city is not promoted. A philosopher has the moderate love for wisdom and the courage to act according to wisdom. τὸ ἕν). favoring instead the spoken logos: "he who has knowledge of the just and the good and beautiful . utterly unexpected and strange. Plato has made interesting arguments. rule by a tyrant)[citation needed]. the fundamental ontological principle.ordered human. then to an oligarchy (rule by the few). overall. Most of the books on Plato seem to diminish its importance. Unwritten Doctrine For a long time Plato's unwritten doctrine[32][33][34] had been considered unworthy of attention." In the same letter he writes (341 c): "I can certainly declare concerning all these writers who claim to know the subjects that I seriously study . sowing them through a pen with words. the first principles of everything. rather than one individual committing many bad deeds. It is however said that Plato once disclosed this knowledge to the public in his lecture On the Good (Περὶ τἀγαθοῦ). there does not exist. and finally the statement Good is One seemed to them. although inhibited through ailments. among others Aristoxenus who describes the event in the following words: "Each came expecting to learn something about the things that are generally considered good for men. and desires united in virtuous harmony. that the account he gives there [i. and finally to tyranny (rule by one person. which he disclosed only to his most trusted fellows and kept secret from the public. write them in ink." The term ἄγραφα δόγματα literally means unwritten doctrine and it stands for the most fundamental metaphysical teaching of Plato. which cannot defend themselves by argument and cannot teach the truth effectually. in which the Good (τὸ ἀγαθόν) is identified with the One (the Unity. The content of this lecture has been transmitted by several witnesses. nor will there ever exist. But when the mathematical demonstrations came. indeed. The reason for not revealing it to everyone is partially discussed in Phaedrus (276 c) where Plato criticizes the written transmission of knowledge as faulty. while others rejected it. and altogether a kind of wonderful happiness. from tyrants to lovers of money in various kinds of cities. then to a democracy (rule by the people). I imagine. geometrical figures and astronomy. Wherein it concerns states and rulers. in Timaeus] of the participant is different from what he says in his socalled unwritten teaching (ἄγραφα δόγματα). including the Forms themselves are One and Indefinite Duality (ἡ ἀόριστος δυάς).. who in his Physics (209 b) writes: "It is true. According to Plato. will. will not.. any treatise of mine dealing therewith. For instance he asks which is better—a bad democracy or a country reigned by a tyrant.[31] Plato suggests the ships crew to be in line with the democratic rule of many and the captain. The philosophic soul according to Socrates has reason." Simplicius quotes Alexander of Aphrodisias who states that "according to Plato. such as wealth. when in earnest. which he called Large and Small (τὸ μέγα καὶ τὸ 20 . good health. Plato's description of this event is parallel to that of democracy within the state and the inherent problems that arise. than be a bad democracy (since here all the people are now responsible for such actions. a state made up of different kinds of souls will.

Further. The most important aspect of this interpretation of Plato's metaphysics is the continuity between his teaching and the neoplatonic interpretation of Plotinus[35] or Ficino[36] which has been considered erroneous by many but may in fact have been directly influenced by oral transmission of Plato's doctrine. Szlezák.. Accordingly the material principle is the Great and Small [i. ἡ δυάς)..e. he [i.[38] These sources have subsequently been interpreted by scholars from the German Tübingen School such as Hans Joachim Krämer or Thomas A. and the One in that of the Forms . and the One is the cause of it in the Forms. He also tells us what the material substrate is of which the Forms are predicated in the case of sensible things. he assigned to these two elements respectively the causation of good and of evil" (988 a). the Dyad]. [39] Works - The Dialogues of Plato Early dialogues: Apology – Charmides – Crito Euthyphro – First Alcibiades Hippias Major – Hippias Minor Ion – Laches – Lysis Transitional & middle dialogues: Cratylus – Euthydemus – Gorgias Menexenus – Meno – Phaedo Protagoras – Symposium Later middle dialogues: Republic – Phaedrus Parmenides – Theaetetus Late dialogues: Clitophon – Timaeus – Critias Sophist – Statesman Philebus – Laws Of Doubtful Authenticity: Axiochus – Demodocus Epinomis – Epistles – Eryxias Halcyon – Hipparchus – Minos Rival Lovers – Second Alcibiades Sisyphus – Theages 21 .e. since the numbers are derived from the Great and Small by participation in the One" (987 b). and the essence is the One (τὸ ἕν).μικρόν) .[37] All the sources related to the ἄγραφα δόγματα have been collected by Konrad Gaiser and published as Testimonia Platonica.that it is this the duality (the Dyad. the Great and Small (τὸ μέγα καὶ τὸ μικρόν). "From this account it is clear that he only employed two causes: that of the essence. Plato] supposed that their elements are the elements of all things. In Metaphysics he writes: "Now since the Forms are the causes of everything else. for the Forms are the cause of the essence in everything else. and the material cause. one might also learn this from Speusippus and Xenocrates and the others who were present at Plato's lecture on the Good" Their account is in full agreement with Aristotle's description of Plato's metaphysical doctrine. A modern scholar who recognized the importance of the unwritten doctrine of Plato was Heinrich Gomperz who described it in his speech during the 7th International Congress of Philosophy in 1930.

Phaedrus.37). Ion. Demodocus (2). An overview of Plato's writings according to this system can be found in the Stephanus pagination article.Thirty-six dialogues and thirteen letters have traditionally been ascribed to Plato. most of them already considered spurious in antiquity. Laches. Definitions (2). works by Plato are marked (1) if there is no consensus among scholars as to whether Plato is the author. this has led to several conventions regarding the naming and referencing of Plato's texts. in spite of all the stylometric studies that have been conducted since his time. (The) Symposium. (Greater) Hippias (major) (1). Diogenes Laertius Lives 3. writers are skeptical of the notion that the order of Plato's writings can be established with any precision. Euthydemus. and (2) if most scholars agree that Plato is not the author of the work. Philebus. • Axiochus (2). though modern scholarship doubts the authenticity of at least some of these. cf. (The) (Rival) Lovers (2) V. Hipparchus (2). nor the extent to which some might have been later revised and rewritten. In the list below. One tradition regarding the arrangement of Plato's texts is according to tetralogies.[45] The following represents one relatively common such division. be kept in mind that many of the positions in the 22 .[44] though Plato's works are still often characterized as falling at least roughly into three groups. Timaeus. Sophist. Philebus. (The) Apology (of Socrates). On Justice (2). Critias IX. and so were not included by Thrasyllus in his tetralogical arrangement. and Theaetetus belong to a separate group. What is remarkable about Campbell's conclusions is that. Halcyon (2). (The) Laws. Epinomis (2). This scheme is ascribed by Diogenes Laertius to an ancient scholar and court astrologer to Tiberius named Thrasyllus. the others earlier. Theaetetus. Parmenides. First Alcibiades (1).[46] It should. Phaedo II. Republic. Second Alcibiades (2). (The) Republic. Epistles (1). and Statesman were all clustered together as a group. The usual system for making unique references to sections of the text by Plato derives from a 16th century edition of Plato's works by Henricus Stephanus. Sisyphus (2). Plato's writings have been published in several fashions. Laws. On Virtue (2). Phaedrus IV. Minos (2). Crito.[40] • • • • • • • • • I. Composition of the dialogues No one knows the exact order Plato's dialogues were written in. Meno VII. perhaps the only chronological fact about Plato's works that can now be said to be proven by stylometry is the fact that Critias. Menexenus VIII. Unmarked works are assumed to have been written by Plato. Clitophon (1). Theages (2). Charmides. Cratylus.[43] Increasingly in the most recent Plato scholarship. (Lesser) Hippias (minor). Epigrams (2). Statesman III. Laws. The remaining works were transmitted under Plato's name. Timaeus. Timaeus. Lewis Campbell was the first[41] to make exhaustive use of stylometry to prove objectively that the Critias. which must be earlier (given Aristotle's statement in his Politics[42] that the Laws was written after the Republic. Euthyphro. Sophist. however. Protagoras. Gorgias. Eryxias (2). Philebus. These works are labelled as Notheuomenoi ("spurious") or Apocrypha. Sophist. Lysis VI. and Statesman are the latest of Plato's dialogues. while the Parmenides.

apparently to Glaucon. an account of Socrates' final conversation and hemlock drinking. Three dialogues are often considered "transitional" or "pre-middle": Euthydemus. Republic). Socrates figures in all of the "early dialogues" and they are considered the most faithful representations of the historical Socrates.ordering are still highly disputed.[citation needed] Whereas those classified as "early dialogues" often conclude in aporia. Philebus. and with the exception of the Apology. Laches. and Meno. Gorgias. the so-called "middle dialogues" provide more clearly stated positive teachings that are often ascribed to Plato such as the theory of forms. Charmides. Euthyphro. and also that the very notion that Plato's dialogues can or should be "ordered" is by no means universally accepted. its having been refuted in the Parmenides.[citation needed] Narration of the dialogues Plato never presents himself as a participant in any of the dialogues. Phaedo. Charmides. a Socratic disciple. Some dialogues have no narrator but have a pure "dramatic" form (examples: Meno. those answers are difficult to discern. but as remembered by Aristodemus. 1873) Two dialogues Phaedo and Symposium also begin in dramatic form but then proceed to virtually uninterrupted narration by followers of Socrates. as they seem to treat the theory of forms critically (Parmenides) or not at all (Theaetetus). Euthyphro).[47] The so-called "late dialogues" include Critias. One dialogue. The rest of the Theaetetus is presented as a "book" written in dramatic form and read by one of Euclides' slaves (143c). [citation needed] They include The Apology of Socrates. some dialogues are narrated by Socrates. Crito.[citation needed] These dialogues include Cratylus. Euclides says that he compiled the conversation from notes he took based on what Socrates told him of his conversation with the title character. Phaedrus. Lysis. who told him the story years ago. Apollodorus assures his listener that he is recounting the story. Plato's Symposium (Anselm Feuerbach. Crito. Gorgias. but there isn't total consensus that the Parmenides actually refutes the theory of forms. Protagoras. Phaedo.[citation needed] This grouping is the only one proven by stylometic analysis.[48] The Symposium is narrated by Apollodorus. which took place when he himself was an infant.[43] While looked to for Plato's "mature" answers to the questions posed by his earlier works. is narrated by Phaedo to Echecrates in a foreign city not long after the execution took place. Some scholars take this as an indication that Plato had by this date 23 . In the beginning of the Theaetetus (142c-143b). not from his own memory. Laws. Sophist. Menexenus. and Timaeus. Phaedrus. Ion. Less Hippias.[citation needed] The remaining dialogues are classified as "late" and are generally agreed to be difficult and challenging pieces of philosophy. begins in dramatic form but quickly proceeds to Socrates' narration of a conversation he had previously with the sophist for whom the dialogue is named. this narration continues uninterrupted till the dialogue's end. and Theaetetus. Some scholars[who?] say that the theory of forms is absent from the late dialogues. Among those who classify the dialogues into periods of composition. and Protagoras (often considered one of the last of the "early dialogues"). there is no suggestion that he heard any of the dialogues firsthand. The Theaetetus is a peculiar case: a dialogue in dramatic form imbedded within another dialogue in dramatic form. wherein he speaks in first person (examples: Lysis. Statesman. Republic. Symposium. Parmenides.[citation needed] Proponents of dividing the dialogues into periods often consider the Parmenides and Theaetetus to come late in this period and be transitional to the next.

In the Apology (19b. Socrates is concerned with human and political virtue. his death. In the dialogues Plato is most celebrated and admired for. Unity and Diversity of the Dialogues Two other important dialogues. etc. Socrates tries to dismiss rumors that he is a sophist and defends himself against charges of disbelief in the gods and corruption of the young. For example. but makes him look like a fool in the Euthyphro. warns him about the trouble he may get into if he does not stop criticizing important people. Socrates is a guest at the home of Callias. The Apology is Socrates' defense speech. In the Gorgias. one of the men who brings legal charges against Socrates. and blames him for causing his bad reputation. Trial of Socrates Main article: Trial of Socrates The trial of Socrates is the central. The Protagoras contains the largest gathering of Socratic associates. Socrates explains why an enlightened man (presumably himself) will stumble in a courtroom situation. Socrates tells Theaetetus in his namesake dialogue that he admires Prodicus and has directed many pupils to him. or use characters or themes that play a part in it. In the Apology. the two of them are drinking together with other friends. and explains how his life as a philosopher was launched by the Oracle at Delphi. the Symposium and the Phaedrus. Charmides and his guardian Critias are present for the discussion in the Protagoras. The character Phaedrus is linked to the main story line by character (Phaedrus is also a participant in the Symposium and the Protagoras) and by theme (the philosopher as divine emissary. Socrates famously denies being wise. and ultimately. unifying event of the great Platonic dialogues. and that this is the reason he has been mistaken for a menace to the city-state of Athens. Plato's Apology is perhaps the most often read of the dialogues. However. Examples of characters crossing between dialogues can be further multiplied.[49] With the exception of the Theaetetus. In the Protagoras. Socrates says that his trial will be like a doctor prosecuted by a cook who asks a jury of children to choose between the doctor's bitter medicine and the cook's tasty treats (521e–522a). 24 . Five dialogues foreshadow the trial: In the Theaetetus (210d) and the Euthyphro (2a–b) Socrates tells people that he is about to face corruption charges. has a distinctive personality. son of Hipponicus. In the Republic (7. and Prodicus specifically in the Apology. Plato gives no explicit indication as to how these orally transmitted conversations came to be written down. are linked to the main storyline by characters. and the Crito and Phaedo take place in prison after the conviction. Anytus. Socrates praises the wisdom of Euthyphro many times in the Cratylus. Socrates insists that long-standing slander will be the real cause of his demise. and says the legal charges are essentially false. He says that his quest to resolve the riddle of the oracle put him at odds with his fellow man. c). Because of this. This is not to say that Socrates is consistent: a man who is his friend in one dialogue may be an adversary or subject of his mockery in another. and friends and enemies who "travel" with him from dialogue to dialogue. Socrates' ideas are also not consistent within or between or among dialogues. Socrates says Aristophanes slandered him in a comic play. If Plato's important dialogues do not refer to Socrates' execution explicitly. In the Meno (94e–95a). He disparages sophists generally.517e).wearied of the narrated form. In the Symposium. they allude to it.) The Protagoras is also strongly linked to the Symposium by characters: all of the formal speakers at the Symposium (with the exception of Aristophanes) are present at the home of Callias in that dialogue. whom he also slyly jabs in the Cratylus for charging the hefty fee of fifty drachmas for a course on language and grammar. a man whom Socrates disparages in the Apology as having wasted a great amount of money on sophists' fees.

and Alfred Tarski. but expanded them by writing extensive commentaries and interpretations on Plato's and Aristotle's works (see Al-Farabi. now called Number Theory and "logistic". thinkers that diverged from ontological models and moral ideals in their own philosophy. Albert Einstein drew on Plato's understanding of an immutable reality that underlies the flux of appearances for his objections to the probabilistic picture of the physical universe propounded by Niels Bohr in his interpretation of quantum mechanics. the study of Plato continued. with the general resurgence of interest in classical civilization." while arithmetic was appropriate for philosophers "because he has to arise out of the sea of change and lay hold of true being. and Karl Popper argued in The Open Society and Its Enemies (1945) that Plato's alleged proposal for a government system in the Republic was prototypically totalitarian. The Medieval scholastic philosophers did not have access to the works of Plato. nor the knowledge of Greek needed to read them."[50] Plato's resurgence further inspired some of the greatest advances in logic since Aristotle. These scholars not only translated the texts of the ancients. and less metaphysical. Plato's thought is often compared with that of his most famous student. in the Byzantine Empire. by George Gemistos Plethon. form. have tended to disparage Platonism from more or less informed perspectives. and at least on par with Aristotle's. Plato's original writings were essentially lost to Western civilization until they were brought from Constantinople in the century of its fall. Leo Strauss is considered by some as the prime thinker involved in the recovery of Platonic thought in its more political. Process and Reality. However. Aristotle. saw Plato's philosophy as the basis for progress in the arts and sciences. Deeply influenced by Nietzsche and Heidegger. Plato's reputation was restored. where Plethon then lectured on the relation and differences of Plato and Aristotle. called to unify the Greek and Latin Churches. Plato's influence has been especially strong in mathematics and the sciences. It is believed that Plethon passed a copy of the Dialogues to Cosimo de' Medici when in 1438 the Council of Ferrara. now called arithmetic. Avicenna. 1929). Averroes). primarily through Gottlob Frege and his followers Kurt Gödel. did knowledge of Plato's philosophy become widespread again in the West. Only in the Renaissance. and fired Cosimo with his enthusiasm. Many of the greatest early modern scientists and artists who broke with Scholasticism and fostered the flowering of the Renaissance. Strauss nonetheless rejects their condemnation of Plato and looks to the dialogues for a solution to what all three thinkers acknowledge as 'the crisis of the West. He helped to distinguish between pure and applied mathematics by widening the gap between "arithmetic". Thus Friedrich Nietzsche attacked Plato's moral and political theories. Martin Heidegger argued against Plato's alleged obfuscation of Being.Platonic Scholarship "The safest general characterisation of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato. Alonzo Church. from Amicus Plato sed magis amica veritas ("Plato is a friend. whose reputation during the Western Middle Ages so completely eclipsed that of Plato that the Scholastic philosophers referred to Aristotle as "the Philosopher". the last of these summarised his approach by reversing the customary paraphrase of Aristotle's famous declaration of sedition from the Academy (Nicomachean Ethics 1096a15). but truth is a greater friend") to Inimicus Plato sed magis inimica falsitas ("Plato is an enemy. By the 19th century. He regarded logistic as appropriate for business men and men of war who "must learn the art of numbers or he will not know how to array his troops.' 25 .[citation needed] Medieval scholars knew of Plato only through translations into Latin from the translations into Arabic by Persian and Arab scholars.[citation needed] Conversely. Notable Western philosophers have continued to draw upon Plato's work since that time. was adjourned to Florence." (Alfred North Whitehead. with the support of the Plato-inspired Lorenzo de Medici. but falsehood is a greater enemy").

[61] Therefore.[62] 26 . D. that there is no record of any Spartan expulsion of Athenians from Aegina between 431-411 BC. namely between July 29 428 BC and July 24 427 BC.[52] According to another biographer of him. ^ The grammarian Apollodorus argues in his Chronicles that Plato was born in the first year of the eighty-eighth Olympiad (427 BC). but none of this enables a precise dating of Ariston's death (or Plato's birth). Ariston. perhaps he went to Aegina in 431. at the Peace of Nicias. Plato was eighty-four years of age at his death. of which 31 instances are known at Athens alone. Debra Nails asserts that the philosopher was born in 424/423 BC. Plato was younger than Isocrates by six years.[57] Greek philologist Ioannis Kalitsounakis believes that the philosopher was born on May 26 or 27 427 BC. Diogenes mentions as one of his sources the Universal History of Favorinus.[53] According to the Suda. Aegina was silently left under Athens' control. in Aegina in the house of Phidiades the son of Thales". E.[55] Renaissance Platonists celebrated Plato's birth on November 7. and his family were sent by Athens to settle as cleruchs (colonists retaining their Athenian citizenship).[58] For her part.[52] If we accept Neanthes' version. on the island of Aegina. which was written in Constantinople in 895 and acquired by Oxford University in 1809.Text history The oldest surviving manuscript for about half of Plato's dialogues is the Clarke Plato (MS. ^ Plato was a common name. the year Pericles died (429 BC). from which they were expelled by the Spartans after Plato's birth there.[60] Aegina is regarded as Plato's place of birth by Suda as well.[citation needed] See also • • • • • • • Cambridge Platonists List of speakers in Plato's dialogues Plato's tripartite theory of soul Platonic love Platonic realism Seventh Letter (Plato) Proclus (The Platonic successor) Notes a.[56] b. according to this tradition the god Apollo was born this day. Neanthes.[60] On the other hand. however. while Jonathan Barnes regards 428 BC as year of Plato's birth. Nails concludes that "perhaps Ariston was a cleruch.[54] c. and therefore he was born in the second year of the 87th Olympiad. Plato was born in Aegina in the 88th Olympiad amid the preliminaries of the Peloponnesian war. Clarke 39). and it was not until the summer of 411 that the Spartans overran the island. According to Favorinus. Plato's family.[59] Nails points out. [51] Criticism Friedrich Nietzsche set himself in direct opposition to Socrates and Plato.[54] Sir Thomas Browne also believes that Plato was born in the 88th Olympiad.[56] Wilamowitz-Moellendorff estimates that Plato was born when Diotimos was archon eponymous. on the seventh day of the month Thargelion. and perhaps Plato was born on Aegina. according to some writers. ^ Diogenes Laertius mentions that Plato "was born. and he lived 82 years. regarding Plato especially as the fundamental source of nihilism in the West.

Aristotle. they would be free of desires. Essentially. instead he wanted to improve upon the one that he was part of during his existence. Plato’s theory of the forms is partly logical and part metaphysical. Plato and Aristotle each had ideas in how to proceed with improving the society in which they were part of during their existence. He believed that society was at its optimum and you can only improve upon the existing one. and military capacity. he felt. The rulers. They would produce all the consumable and non-consumable goods deemed necessary for consumption and the continued economic viability of the society. being the foundation of the great western philosophers. The fundamental prerequisite to becoming a genuine philosopher is to have knowledge of forms. Plato lived during the Peloponnesian War. pleasure and other temptations. justice and virtue. courage. was not focused or concerned about the idea of a perfect society. In Plato’s perfect society. Those that are rulers are society’s decision & policy makers and non-rulers occupy levels of civil servants. Auxiliaries (Silver). Plato felt that the common man wasn’t intelligent or capable of dealing with concepts that influence the state such as economics. He had eyewitness account of his mentor’s (Socrates) trial and execution. he forged ahead to eliminate the disease (pluralism of friendship) that plagued the human character and society (Class Notes). linked by one single entity. He strongly felt that neither a moral individual nor a state that is rational could be established in a democratic environment. in it self. Another danger was that excessive liberty for the people of the democratic society could potentially lead to anarchy. The main objective in Plato’s philosophy is a creation of a perfect society. wouldn’t posses any money or property. essentially non-skilled workers. and the Artisan (Bronze). he believed that philosophical ruler will always make the right decision. thus enabling you to know the truth. He constructs a foundation for a utopian society in his book “The Republic”. It wouldn’t allow for realistic problem solving solutions. Plato’s perfect society would consist of three basic groups. Bitter and angered by the political corruption that gripped the Athenian democratic government. He felt that utopia was abstract and superficial. are the workers which might be composed of farmers and artist. policy of foreign affairs and other relative matters. The highest of these classes are the gold people. they occupy a small sector of society. he suggested that society should. such as ethics and psychology. Armed with the truth. unlike Plato. Artisan (Bronze). He felt that Plato’s view of a strict overhaul of society in general wasn’t necessary. strive to utilize the best system it can attain. which consequently lead to the end of the Athenian democracy.Plato vs. Rather than develop a framework for a society that is perfect. excesses. he disengaged from participating in politics. It is necessary therefore to analyze their different theoretical approaches regarding their philosophical perspectives. which will check their powers of resistance to self-interest. He sought to establish the concept of the 27 . Aristotle Written by: devil dog Numerous experts in modern time regard Plato as the first genuine political philosopher and Aristotle as the first political scientist. The purpose of his thought process was to cleanse his society of the woes he felt plagued it and construct a new one. Plato whole-heartedly felt that if ever the bronze or iron people rule the state would collapse (Class Notes). which consist of rulers and non-rulers. and rule with total wisdom. All auxiliaries would be subjected to a series of tests. This paper however will mainly concentrate on Aristotle’s views on friendship and how it impacts today’s society. The Auxiliaries (Silver) are people of strength. The last level. which are Guardians (Gold). and vices. Plato wanted to establish the perfect form of society. He viewed political incumbents in Athens government as being elected for matters that were irrelevant to main factors that affected the state. They were both great thinkers in regards to. in part with Socrates.

instead of factual knowledge. as Aristotle would have enjoyed. He feels that an oligarchy two things may initiate a possible revolution: the first one is the ruler and their offspring would grow to be weak. an injustice. Aristotle felt by using real world experience along with real people. Those who are of the gold class. that it will become necessary to impose the same strict way of life on those being governed. He decided to express in the “Republic” how men should conduct it self in a perfect society and what attitude they should posses. Aristotle puts emphasis on the institution of the polis or civilized community. again inequality in the distribution of office to considered just”. one must participate in them. Plato also felt that public judgments of disapproval and approval were based on emotional belief. governing the political matters and decisions that effect the state. and it must promote the common interest of the people of the state. moderation. Plato’s ideal society is so difficult to conceive that Aristotle believes that no human being can achieve its rudimentary requirements. which destroys the constitution. He felt that to not allow interaction among the various classes would inhibit those who posses the ability to engage in political life. It is rather a partnership between households. He believes that if a revolution occurred it would happened within the corridors of the palace. Aristotle states that to know the factors that caused the revolution. This type of revolution happens when there is a transmission of power from one holder of power to another. 28 . Plato thinks that in a utopia a disgruntled group of Guardians will emerge and disengage themselves from the ruling law of the state. that is it controls the belief a life of good nature would be provided for all people no matter their ranking in society. Aristotle’s disagreed with Plato in regards to allowing one particular class to govern the state politically for indefinite period of time. The polis was structured to allow the average individual in society to participate in political matters. but merely the larger of the two entities. clans. and second is that the number of poor individuals will grow larger and there for be taken advantage of by the ruling class. hence palace revolution. Plato and Aristotle both agreed on justice and viewed it objectively. He places the idea of moderation on a high pedestal. In retrospect. Plato views the idea of law and justice as what sets the standard for society’s behavior in a state. He quotes “It is a further objection that he deprives his Guardians even of happiness. The polis enables those individuals who naturally posses moral intellect and wisdom an opportunity to rise to higher positions (Class Notes). and villages for the sake of a fully developed and self-sufficient life. His belief contradicts Plato theory of one controlling class. This institutional forum is not the city-state or the community. wouldn’t permit citizens to engage in public participation concerning governmental issues. Justice is the political good within the polis. sacrifice their happiness for control and absolute power. is to also know the principal of effect. Many individuals come to favor the concept of moderation because it is flexible. Plato on the other hand. maintaining that happiness of the whole state which should be the object of legislation”.gold class having wisdom. The Theory of Democracy that Aristotle states is that democracy is a “perversion” form of government of “polity” (Class Notes). he can see first hand how and what way can he improve society. sympathetic. part liberal and part conservative. Aristotle perceives such an event occurring between the wealthy and less fortunate in society. ultimately he is stating that those who rule (Guardians). and justice. The law is also the regulating factor that arises from equal and free people in civil institution. What is seen as good must be distributed and regulated through out the state. It was imperative that those who rule be philosophers and skilled in areas that pertained to the interest of the state. no oligarchies. justice is considered to mean equality. lead such a rigid life. He clearly states “The people at large should be sovereign rather than the few best”. Aristotle’s states “ In democracies. and above all to rule and be ruled. The well being of a society is solely based upon the connection between the effort in which the citizens of the state adhere to the law of the land. A good citizen of the state will posses prudence. for example. He feels Plato’s structure of classes is politically incorrect for the state. He feels to prevent such actions. thus they should be wise and good rulers. which in turn ensure its preservation.

To him form is simply the way matter is arranged. that’s their form. if possible. too. I firmly believe that Aristotle’s views on friendship holds value in today’s society. such that it can only be between two people. the concept of soul without body or body without soul is incoherent. Human being for that matter. This friendship is special and unique. His main focus is always connected with things that are consistent with ideal experience. In regards to form. The bond that unites the two people is based on usefulness. For example. a cat is composed in a feline way. both need what the other can provide. Aristotle. The second concept would be friendship of pleasure.Aristotle and Plato also have contrasting views on ethics. this type of friendship is connected solely between two people. Some believe that doing something for someone is solely based on the act of self –fulfillment. For Aristotle Aristotle is more philosophically inclined than Plato. The last kind of friendship is the friendship of virtue. Aristotle believes that virtue is necessary for happiness. capable of maintaining independence from one another. which is basically the amount of pleasure generated between the participants. This type of friendship is also unique based on the fact that it can only hold any true value if both individuals are of the same virtue. In respect to friendship. then expand on his main principle in connection to modern time. As for Aristotle. The interaction among friends is only valued if there is usefulness between the two individuals. In regards to ethics. he claims that the body and soul are two different things. while Plato says virtue is enough for happiness. People in general might regard these definitions of friend objective. such as an outdoor festival. friendships of pleasure and friendships of virtue. Rather than utility and pleasure. As long as they each can provide what the other needs. and he believes that the concept of forms existing separate from matter is somewhat superfluous. body and soul are two different entities. These three categories are arranged in a certain format that there are influenced by the next level. I believe is not incorrect in stating that the idea in friendship in utility and pleasure is for our own sake. have a unique method of structure. Each of the participant’s enjoys the others company. and the concept behind friendship of virtue is for the sake of the friend. An example of this would be any automobile dealer and car buyer. You can see Aristotle as someone who believes the world in which he occupies very satisfying just the way it is. he tends to get rid of ideas that are irrelevant. it made him uncomfortable. that’s what makes a cat. An example of this would be two people engaging in a social event. psychology and metaphysics. The psychological difference between the two is that Plato feels the body is a prison for the soul. one consisting of matter the other form. Plato’s vague. Aristotle strongly feels that nothing in existence can be without form and matter. national communities and any other form of group’s that people find a common denominator. without introducing unnecessary notions of concepts that can’t be proven. poetic language in metaphysics and physics didn’t stimulate inspiration. Factoring in that they know each other. where it can establish a group of people. Present day possibilities can include: various college organizations. He sees everything in the universe being composed of matter and form. union members. He dives right into the heart of the matter. They are friends because of the pleasure they bring to themselves. so its not surprising that he perceives human being are too. it satisfies the friendship. 29 . The idea behind friendship of utility is that it is founded on the idea of usefulness. Plato expressed how things should be through utilizing vague language and poetry. Aristotle distinguishes between three types of friendship: friendships of utility. These bonds of friendship can arise from various forms of potential fraternal groupings. So for Aristotle. If you eliminate its structure and form you have nothing left. First we will touch on the various points that Aristotle makes regarding friendship. In fact.

^ C. Andrews University 2.E. 47 7. but they both had the same concern. ^ Diogenes Laertius. Plato. 2002. 36 Taylor. ^ Plato. p. 158a * Plutarch. Suda. That is we are voting for that citizen who can do the best job of working toward our common interest. 53 13. Plato. Charmides. Wasps. ^ St-Andrews. Their opinions on society and its function were quite different. 158a * D. ^ Diogenes Laertius.4. 21. http://www. De Divinatione. he was responsible for developing various democratic ideas. IV.php Footnotes 1. IV 14. von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff. In conclusion. IV. 10. 481d and 513b * Aristophanes.6. ^ Plato. Charmides. von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff. ^ Diogenes Laertius. these men were great thinkers. 2. 53 * A. 1 * Diogenes Laertius. Plato.planetpapers. the political philosopher. I. Nails. Plato and the Socratic Dialogue. In Aristotle case. 46 5. Even in modern democracies like our own Aristotle’s ideas hold true. K. Plato. Plato. Life of Plato. Guthrie. xiv * U. ^ Plato. Nails. Life of Plato. Aristotle and Plato have had a tremendous impact on political scientists of today. Taylor. The citizen of a state who has the greatest ability to work towards the salvation of the constitution has a great gift that can benefit all citizens. theoretically. "Ariston". Gorgias. ^ Apuleius. 4. It only makes sense to allow that particular individual to lead the rest of the citizens in working towards the common interests of the state. K. Pericles. ^ Diogenes Laertius 3. to build a better way of life for their societies they in lived in and for the societies that would come to be in the future. 47 8. 97 15. C.Both Plato and Aristotle were two men who envisioned methods on ways to improve their existing society. 3. ^ Plato.1 9. was basically in pursuit of philosophical truth. xiv 12. Encyclopaedia Britannica. Aristotle was more concerned with citizenship and institutional politics. Republic. I 6. C. 53 * U. "Ariston". III * D. 186 18. Nails. Life of Plato. ^ a b W. Kahn. ^ D. Guthrie. ^ "Plato". Memorabilia. Plato. They both had developed ideas and concepts to improve society as a whole. ^ * U. David Sedley.E. Life of Plato. IV 30 . 10 * A. A History of Greek Philosophy'. von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff. "Perictione". De Dogmate Cambridge University Press 2003 3. St. 11 17. I "Plato". 126c 16. Plato's Cratylus. ^ W. Parmenides. are voting for the single most “excellent” citizen of our nation. When we vote in the election of the ruler of our country we.H. ^ Cicero. A History of Greek Philosophy. ^ Plato.

in: G. ISSN 02669080. IV * A. and Catan.nfo&softpage=GetClient42&view=b rowse. 1990. and Catan. John R. Briefe des Mediceerkreises.gradesaver. Phronesis 25 (1980). 39. pp. ^ Diogenes Laertius. New York City: Berkley. Stuttgart.: CUA Press. Berlin. 37.nlx. Gomperz. Smith. in Notopoulos.987a 24. 31 . 28. 38. 135 20. p.). ^ Plotinus describes this in the last part of his final Ennead (VI. 1999. Jens Halfwassen states in Der Aufstieg zum Einen (2006) that "Plotinus' ontology—which should be called Plotinus' henology .38-47 35. ^ McEvoy. Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy. Gaiser. Washington. 1926. Cf. Upper Saddle River. ^ In one of his letters (Epistolae 1612) Ficino writes: "The main goal of the divine Plato . a rather accurate philosophical renewal and continuation of Plato's unwritten doctrine.14 and onwards. 1953. V 23. ^ Rodriguez. 29. ^ Aristotle. John R. Irish Philosophical Journal (Belfast: Dept.e. Plato and the Foundations of Metaphysics: A Work on the Theory of the Principles and Unwritten Doctrines of Plato with a Collection of the Fundamental Documents. ^ Baird. Le antiche testimonianze sulle dottrine non scritte di Platone. Arch. Sophie's World. 33.cfm? clientId=0&advquery=toc. http://poiesis. Marsilio Ficino. Philosophical Studies. ^ Diogenes Laertius. 1998. Milan. Ryle (ed. ^ Reale. Forrest E. ^ Apuleius. Life of Plato. 1964). Massachusetts from August 10–15. ISBN 0-7914-0516-8. GradeSaver LLC. IV * W. ^ The Republic. ISBN 07914-0433-1. pp. 25. 91.19. is to show one principle of things. From Plato to Derrida. Reale summarizes the results of his research in A History of Ancient Philosophy: Plato and Aristotle. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall. http://www. I i 16. 1990. Albany: SUNY Press. "Plato and The Wisdom of Egypt".. Graec. xiii. The Name of Plato. the doctrine rediscovered by Krämer and Gaiser. SUNY Press. Retrieved 2007-12-03. 2 21. Plato's enigmatic lecture "On the Good". 30. 1998..html. James (1984).. 147. ISBN 0-13-158591-6. A detailed analysis is given by Krämer in his Plato and the Foundations of Metaphysics: A Work on the Theory of the Principles and Unwritten Doctrines of Plato With a Collection of the Fundamental Documents. 393 22. However the most complete analysis of the consequences of such an approach is given by Thomas A. ^ Leo Strauss. Szlezak in his fundamental Reading Plato. De Dogmate Platonis. Another good description is by Giovanni Reale: Toward a New Interpretation of Plato. ^ p282 32. A History of Ancient Philosophy. ^ H. D. Boston.. 119-24. pp. First published as Testimonia Platonica. New York: Routledge. pp.. Pablo. which he called the One (τὸ ἕν)". 9) entitled On the Good. 1990. 426-431. Reprinted in: H. ^ "Biography of Aristotle". of Scholastic Philosophy.ipj. pp. Hans Joachim. 1. 34. Jostein (1996). ^ Huntington Cairns. Catan). 1963. Cf. Queen's University of Belfast) 1 (2). ClassicNote. Quellentexte zur Schule und mündlichen Lehre Platons as an appendix to Gaiser's Platons Ungeschriebene Lehre. cf. Retrieved 2007-12-03. ^ K.2&infobase=postoc. 1997. Plato. Plato's System of Philosophy. Proceedings of the Seventh International Congress of Philosophy. 31. or the One (Περὶ τἀγαθοῦ ἢ τοῦ ἑνός). ^ Krämer. Life of Plato. 5-37. Philosophy and Dialogue: Plato's Unwritten Doctrines from a Hermeneutical Point of View. (Translated by John R. p." 36. Gomperz. London 1931. ^ For a bried description of the problem see for example K. The City and Man (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 50–1. Testimonia Platonica. Gaiser. Introduction to Plato: The Collected Dialogues. SUNY Press. 27. Metaphysics. ^ Diogenes Laertius. p. 1990. Walter Kaufmann (2008). Giovanni. 26.sect.Grandjean. ^ Robinson. Albany: SUNY Press.C. Life of Plato.1.

p. Encyclopaedia Britannica. ^ Diogenes Laertius. in E. 47. Cooper. 86. Cambridge University Press 1996. 1996. 2002. v–vi.). Burnet. Pseudodoxia Epidemica. Nietzsche. 46. Carl B.92 62. Christopher Rowe.). John Burnet. Encyclopaedic Dictionary The Helios Volume V (in Greek). G. ^ Manuscripts . IV.). Cambridge University Press 1991. Blackwell 2006. J. ^ U. 1980 or Einführung in die philosophische Mystik. A History of Mathematics (Second ed. Oxford University Press 1999.Another supporter of this interpretation is the german philosopher Karl Albert. "Plato". Politics. 1952. ^ See W.18 | birth_place = * Thucydides. 49. and the Soul. Plato 2: Ethics. cf. The Cambridge Companion to Plato. ^ F. ^ Richard Kraut. Grondin.). C. for the Pythagoreans [Echecrates & co."" 51. ^ T. "Socrates and the Early Dialogues". A History of Greek Philosophy. ^ The extent to which scholars consider a dialogue to be authentic is noted in John M. ^ p. 32 54. Guthrie. Darmstadt. must be an arithmetician "because he has to arise out of the sea of change and lay hold of true being. A History of Greek Philosophy. 48. ^ a b p. C. 1991). The Life of Plato of Athens. Smith. 2002). ^ T. "Ariston". Plato's Alleged Epitaph.). Un dialogo tra Hans-Georg Gadamer e la scuola di Tubinga. "The age of Plato and Aristotle". 46 58. A Companion to Plato. 1 57. Kahn. John Wiley & Sons. Cambridge University Press 1975. on the other hand. 44. 5. Hackett 1997. ^ Thucydides. XII 56. Penner. 45. MacMillan 1950. 8. 42. Nails. Gadamer's final position on the subject is stated in his introduction to La nuova interpretazione di Platone. III 60. ^ a b Diogenes Laertius. ^ Boyer. 41. Kraut (ed. ISBN 0471543977. Burnet. Greek Philosophy. Gadamer and the Tübingen School and Gadamer's 1968 article Plato's Unwritten Dialectic reprinted in his Dialogue and Dialectic. Griechische Religion und platonische Philosophie. Socrates: Ironist and Moral Philosopher. by Plato (Indianapolis: Hackett. ^ W. 1. cf. ^ "Plato". G.. who "must learn the art of numbers or he will not know how to array his troops. Suda. Plato regarded logistic as appropriate for the businessman and for the man of war.Philosophy Faculty Library 52. Plato's Parmenides (Oxford: Oxford University Press. in H. Life of Plato. "Interpreting Plato". Plato: Complete Works. T.. 1997). 177. Plato's Phaedo. accessed 24 June 2008. | birth_place = *"Plato". in R." The philosopher. Malcolm Schofield (1998. Plato. Milano 1998. J. II 53. 55. ed. ^ sect. 4. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Cambridge University Press 1992. ^ Constance Chu Meinwald. Nails. University of California Press 1928. accessed 24 June 2008. Plato and the Socratic Dialogue. Hamburg. Browne. Life of Plato. K. 10 * L. vol. Routledge. 50. Oxford 1911. and perhaps to him is due the sharp distinction in ancient Greece between arithmetic (in the sense of the theory of numbers) and logistic (the technique of computation). pp. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. ^ a b D. Fine. accessed 24 June 2008. Cooper (ed. xiv. Religion. ^ a b D. 54 61. Craig (Ed. 59. ^ a b "Plato". "Plato". (1991). 61 References 32 . Benson (ed. ^ 1264b24-27 43. Complete Works. Hans-Georg Gadamer is also sympathetic towards it. Vlastos. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. ^ "The time is not long after the death of Socrates. Guthrie. von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff. 40. Werke. Brickhouse & N.] have not heard any details yet" (J. Tarán. J. Inc. "Plato". 9.W. "Plato is important in the history of mathematics largely for his role as inspirer and director of others.

ancientlibrary. Plato: Continuum Library of Educational Thought. Suda. See original text in Perseus program. "Plato". ISBN 0-521-31101-2. Sir Thomas (1646-1672). Trafford Publishing ISBN 1-4120-4843-5 Barrow.1086/362227. Plato. Werke: Kritische Gesamtausgabe (in German). Friedrich Wilhelm (1967). See original text in Perseus program. See original text in Perseus program. ISBN 0-521-64830-0. Debra (2002). See original text in Perseus program. See original text in Perseus program. Encyclopaedic Dictionary The Helios Volume XVI (in Greek). "Plato". I. "The Life of Plato of Athens". 2002. 33 . Cambridge University Press. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. Nails. Robin (2007). Smith. A Companion to Plato edited by Hugh H. Blackwell Publishing. A History of Greek Philosophy: Volume 4. Taylor. ISBN 3-110-13912-X. "Plato". Aristophanes.Primary sources (Greek and Roman) • • • • • • • • • • • • Apuleius. ISBN 9004-12304-0. Cambridge University Press. Plutarch. Alfred Edward (2001). ISBN 1-405-11521-1. ISBN 0-486-41605-4. The People of Plato: A Prosopography of Plato and Other Socratics. I. Further reading • • • • Allen.html. "The Name of Plato". Plato and the socratic dialogue: The Philosophical Use of a Literary Form. V. http://www. ISBN 978-1930972-18-6 Ambuel. David (2006).. Image and Paradigm in Plato's Sophist. Courier Dover Publications. De Dogmate Platonis. Nails. William (1870). ISBN 0-8264-8408-5. (April 1939). Plato: The Man and his Work. Plato: The Republic on Wikisource. Plato: The Man and His Dialogues: Earlier Period. Diogenes Laërtius. ISBN 978-1-930972-004-9 Bakalis. "The Framework". Encyclopaedia Britannica. Benson. Kahn. See original text in Perseus program. See original text in Perseus program. (2004). See original text in Perseus program. Secondary sources • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Browne.C. Pseudodoxia Epidemica. Plato: Charmides on Wikisource. Metaphysics. See original text in Latin library. See original text in Latin Library. (1986). R. The Wasps. Debra (2006). Parmenides Publishing. W. Leonardo (2001). Tarán. ISBN 960-382-664-2. Memorabilia. Kaktos. translated by Robert Drew Hicks (1925). Wilamowitz-Moellendorff. "Plato". Brill Academic Publishers. (2006). Nikolaos (2005). Walter de Gruyter. See original text in Perseus program. Studies in Plato's Metaphysics II. Plato: his Life and Work (translated in Greek by Xenophon Armyros. Pericles. Xenophon. Hackett Publishing. Life of Plato. Notopoulos. Classical Philology (The University of Chicago Press) 34 (2): 135–145. "Vorlesungsaufzeichnungen". 10th century. 1952. Nietzsche. A. Charles H. Collected Papers 1962-1999. De Divinatione. Cicero. Ulrich von (2005 (first edition 1917)).K. Parmenides. Thucydides: History of the Peloponnesian War on Wikisource. ISBN 0-872-20564-9. Handbook of Greek Philosophy: From Thales to the Stoics Analysis and Fragments. Guthrie. Parmenides Publishing. VIII. "Ariston/Perictione". Plato: Gorgias on Wikisource.E. Aristotle. Continuum.

"Genres in Dialogue: Plato and the Construct of Philosophy". Cambridge University Press. Phillip (2005). Plato's Parmenides. Cambridge Univ. ISBN 0-8387-5418-X Cooper. C. Protagoras. ISBN 0-521-31101-2 Guthrie. Suzanne (1954). Foreword by Julien Gracq Lilar. ISBN 0-19-517510-7. Guthrie. Huntington (Eds. ISBN 0674-69906-8 Hamilton. S. Corlett. (2006).Earlier Period). with a foreword by Jonathan Griffin London. W. Roy (2001). The Story of Philosophy. Interpreting Plato's Dialogues. Preface to Plato (History of the Greek Mind). USA. Grasset. USA. (1995). The Cambridge Companion to Plato. Claude (1999). ISBN 0-521-80852-9. ISBN 978-1-930972-16-2 Mohr. Will (1926). ISBN 0-19-508645-7 Jackson. J. Paris.) (1993). Religion. ISBN 0-691-09718-6. Oxford University Press. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-1-930972-01-8 Moore.C. Parmenides Publishing.). & Hutchinson. Paris. Tirril. ISBN 0198880405. Reedited 1979.• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Cadame. Twenty Greatest Philosophy Books. Simon & Schuster. D. London: Oxford University Press. Plato's Ethics. Journal de l'analogiste. Plato 1: Metaphysics and Epistemology Oxford University Press. cap. 278–312. James (2006. ISBN 0-19-875206-7 Garvey. Norman (2002). Mitchell (2004). Lilar. Edith & Cairns. 69-199) ISBN 2-02-001958-2 Field. Plato: A Beginner's Guide. McGraw Hill. Melchert. Theaetetus. (esp. (1986). Parmenides Publishing. Philosophy Insights Series. Cambridge University Press. Krämer. The Collected Dialogues of Plato. Translated as Aspects of Love in Western Society in 1965.) (1961). London: Hoder & Stroughton. Irwin. Andrea Wilson. ISBN 978-1-84760-047-9 Nightingale. Éditions Julliard. K. Gail (2000). Princeton Univ. W. Grasset. (1986). Edward (2007). ISBN 0-521-31102-0 Havelock. Lundberg. ISBN 0-671-69500-2. Indigenous and Modern Perspectives on Tribal Initiation Rites: Education According to Plato.The Hunt for Virtue: Beauty. Richard D. Humanities-Ebooks. ISBN 0-791-40433-1. Inc. Paris: Seuil. ISBN 0-521-43610-9. in Padilla. Authorhouse. Including the Letters. Constance Chu (1991). Thames and Hudson. Gorgias. ISBN 1-4184-4977-6. Terence (1995). Suzanne (1963). SUNY Press. Tallyho . Kochin. A History of Greek Philosophy (Plato .The Man & His Dialogues . Parmenides Publishing. The Great Conversation: A Historical Introduction to Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. The Philosopher in Plato's Statesman. God and Forms in Plato . K. Suzanne (1967) A propos de Sartre et de l'amour . A History of Greek Philosophy (Later Plato & the Academy) Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-34080385-1. ISBN 9781-930972-02-5 Durant. Continuum. Meinwald. Michael S. Eric (2005). ISBN 0826490530. Society". Hackett Publishing Company.) (1997). G. Derrida. Lysis. ISBN 0-87220-349-2. Paris. Parmenides. pp. Jacques (1972). Press. ISBN 0-19506445-3. La dissémination. 1999.Truth and Goodness Nine Dialogues by Plato: Pheadrus. Plato and the Foundations of Metaphysics. Angelo (2005). Fine.: La Pharmacie de Platon. Richard (Ed. Gender and Rhetoric in Plato’s Political Thought. John M. C. Charmides. ISBN 0-521-48264-X 34 . Plato.). (2002). Meno & Sophist. Mark William (editor). C. The Philosophy of Plato (2nd ed. with an appendix by R. Grasset. Miller. ed.and other Essays in Plato's Metaphysics. Le couple. (Eds. Kraut. Hans Joachim (1990). Bucknell University Press. Plato: Complete Works. Paris. (Guy Cromwell) (1969). "Rites of Passage in Ancient Greece: Literature. Cross. Belknap Press. Lilar. Press.

Rowman and Littlefield.with a new Introducution by Luc Brisson. Sallis. The University of Chicago Press. Sayre. Giovanni (1990). Aspects of antiquity: Discoveries and Controversies by M. Dover Publications. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-48641605-4 Vlastos. CUA Press. Arieti.Greek & English hyperlinked text o Works of Plato (Jowett. Giovanni (1997). ISBN 0-415-18984-5. ISBN 978-1-930972-09-4 Seung. Reading Plato. A. Plato's Late Ontology: A Riddle Resolved. (1996). Toward a New Interpretation of Plato. ISBN 0-791-40516-8. University of Michigan/Online version. ISBN 0-8476-7662-5 External links English Wikisource has original text related to this article: Plato Greek Wikisource has original text related to this article: Platon Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Plato Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Plato • Works available on-line: o Works by Plato at Perseus Project . ISBN 0-8476-8112-2 Szlezak. Smith. ISBN 0-253-21071-2. (1999). John (1996). Being and Logos: Reading the Platonic Dialogues. issued 1969 by The Viking Press. E. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. Thomas Taylor has translated Plato's complete works. William.I. Harvard University Press publishes the hardbound series Loeb Classical Library. Interpreting Plato: The Dialogues as Drama by James A. (2006). and some translations in the Clarendon Plato Series. with English translations on facing pages. ISBN 0-691-10021-7 Vlastos. containing Plato's works in Greek. John (1999). Sallis. (2001). Parmenides Publishing. Plato's Philosophers: The Coherence of the Dialogues. Finley. ISBN 978-1-930972-13-1 Zuckert. Reale. A History of Ancient Philosophy: Plato and Aristotle. Chorology: On Beginning in Plato's "Timaeus". Plato: The Man and His Work. Inc. Indiana University Press. SUNY Press. Platonic Studies. Parmenides Publishing. Routledge. (1867 — original). Plato's Universe . Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-81320847-5. Thomas A. Gregory (1981). Gregory (2006). 1892) o Works by Plato at Project Gutenberg  Spurious and doubtful works at Project Gutenberg 35 . Catherine (2009).• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Reale. ISBN 0-253-21308-8. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. ISBN 978-0-226-99335-5 Oxford University Press publishes scholarly editions of Plato's Greek texts in the Oxford Classical Texts series. Kenneth M. Inc. K. Plato Rediscovered: Human Value and Social Order. T. Taylor.

The interview. do forms exist? o "Plato and Totalitarianism: A Documentary Study" o "Plato and Platonism". LibriVox recording Quick Links to Plato's Dialogues (English. both in Italian and English. by B. JOWETT at archive. Catholic Encyclopedia. earlier period.K. • • • • • http://en. vol. annotated and searchable. Greek. New York: Robert Appleton Company. available in full on video. Online library "Vox Philosophiae" Comprehensive Research Materials: o Approaching Plato: A Guide to the Early and Middle Dialogues o Works by or about Plato in libraries (WorldCat catalog) Other sources: Interview with Mario Vegetti on Plato's political thought. Plato: the man and his 36 . Spanish) THE DIALOGUES OF PLATO-5 vols (mp3) tr.o o o o o o • Plato complete works. is included in the series Multi-Media Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences.C. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: o Plato o Plato's Ethics o Friendship and Eros o Middle Period Metaphysics and Epistemology o Plato on Utopia o Rhetoric and Poetry Other Articles: o Excerpt from W. 8-38 o Website on Plato and his works: Plato and his dialogues by Bernard Suzanne o Reflections on Reality and its Reflection: comparison of Plato and Bergson. A History of Greek Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. French. Guthrie. 1989. 1913. at ELPENOR Euthyphro LibriVox recording Ion LibriVox recording The Apology of Socrates (Greek). IV.