Platos Influence in Western Culture

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 496
  • Published : June 15, 2008
Open Document
Text Preview
Plato (429-347 B.C.E) is seen by many as one of the greatest philosophers of the classical period, if not of all time. Coming from a wealthy Athenian family it is the belief that he followed and further developed philosophy from his mentor Socrates. His first works are seen as the most trust-worthy accounts of Socrates life, and after his death Plato would continue to develop Socrates works with the help from Plato’s most famous student, Aristotle. During this time Plato would develop his most famous work The Republic. This would notably, along with many of his later works, blend his ideas of politics, ethics, psychology, and metaphysics into an interlinked philosophy. Plato’s dialogues present much of the idea’s founded and developed by the trio, especially in one of his most famous dialogues, The Apology of Socrates Trial. It is from these experiences that with the help of his teacher Socrates and his student Aristotle, Plato would develop the philosophical foundations of Western culture.

When asked to define the philosophical style of Plato most people would be quick to label him as a political philosopher, this is due to his views on social implication and the idea of an ideal state or government. Plato was an elitist political thinker in the fact that he said that only those with reason, experience and wisdom should govern. The way he put it was: “Until philosophers rule as kings or those who are now called kings and leading men genuinely and adequately philosophize, that is, until political power and philosophy entirely coincide, while the many natures who at present pursue either one exclusively are forcibly prevented from doing so, cities will have no rest from evils,... nor, I think, will the human race." By saying this Plato re-enforces his thought that only those with great wisdom should become leaders and politicians. His belief was that cities will remain evil and tyrant until their current kings either began to think and philosophize, or...
tracking img