Platos Contributions

Topics: Plato, Epistemology, Aristotle Pages: 2 (667 words) Published: February 2, 2012
Plato’s Contributions
It is believed that Plato, a student of Socrates, was one of the greatest contributors of philosophy. Proof of Plato's notoriety in the world of philosophy can be clearly seen with his dialogues and his renowned student Aristotle. Plato’s writings are in the form of dialogues, with Socrates as the principal speaker. With his theory of Forms, he had discussed a wide range of metaphysical and ethical questions while finding inherent connections between the two. Plato also considered epistemological questions, such as whether knowledge is justified true belief. His greatest work, The Republic, developed theories of justice. Proof of a truly great philosopher can be shown by his or her students. As mentioned before, Plato's Academy was a breeder of philosophers. One of the most prominent philosophers to come from the Academy was Aristotle. Plato himself took Aristotle under his wing and taught him the ways of understanding and contemplating the world around him. Plato divided his world into two aspects. These worlds have forms, the intelligible world and the perceptual world. Plato saw the perceptual world around us as imperfect copies of the intelligible forms or ideas. In the intelligible world, forms are unchangeable and perfect and only comprehensible by the use of intellect and understanding. For example, a chair is a chair because it “participates in” the Form of Chair. The forms are ideal “patterns,” unchanging, timeless, and perfect. Plato speaks of them as self-assertion: the Form of Beauty is perfectly beautiful. This led, to the Third Man Argument that there must be an infinite number of Forms. “If it’s impossible for unlike things to be like and like things unlike, isn’t it then impossible for them to be many? Because, if they were many, they would have incompatible properties” (Plato “Parmenides” 126), this is Mary Louise Gill and Paul Ryan’s translation of Plato’s Forms of Likeness and Unlikeness. Thus one and the same thing can...

Cited: Cooper, John M., ed. Plato Complete Works. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1997. Print.
Plato. Parmenides. Trans. Mary Louise Gill and Paul Ryan. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 428-347 B.C. Print.
---. The Republic. Trans. Allan Bloom. : The Perseus Book Group, 1968. Print.
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