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Plato

Plato Silanion Musei Capitolini MC1377.jpg
Roman copy of a portrait bust by Silanion for the Academia in Athens

Born

428/427 or 424/423 BC
Athens, Greece

Died

348/347 BC
Athens, Greece

Notable work

Apology Phaedo Symposium Republic

Era

Ancient philosophy

Region

Western philosophy

School

Platonism

Main interests

  • Metaphysics
  • Ethics
  • Politics
  • Epistemology
  • Rhetoric
  • Art
  • Literature
  • Education
  • Society
  • Friendship
  • Love

Notable ideas

  • Platonic philosophy
  • Agathos kai sophos
  • Demiurge
  • Hyperuranion
  • Innatism
  • Khôra
  • Metaxy
  • Philosopher king
  • Philotimon
  • Platonic Forms
  • Platonic solid
  • Poiesis
  • Sophrosyne
  • Theia mania
  • Tripartite soul
  • True name

Influences

  • Socrates, Parmenides, Pythagoras, Diotima, Heraclitus

Influenced

  • Virtually all subsequent Western philosophy

Plato was an Athenian philosopher during the Classical period in Ancient Greece and the founder of the Academy, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. He is widely considered the pivotal figure in the history of Ancient Greek and Western philosophy, along with his teacher, Socrates, and his most famous student, Aristotle. Alfred North Whitehead once noted: "the safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato."

Plato has also often been cited as one of the founders of Western religion and spirituality. The so-called Neoplatonism of philosophers like Plotinus and Porphyry influenced Saint Augustine and thus Christianity.

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Discover Plato Quotes and Sayings

Each man is capable of doing one thing well. If he attempts several, he will fail to achieve distinction in any. - Plato

Each man is capable of doing one thing well. If he attempts several, he will fail to achieve distinction in any.

Plato

skill
He who is of calm and happy nature will hardly feel the pressure of age, but to him who is of an opposite disposition youth and age are equally a burden. - Plato

He who is of calm and happy nature will hardly feel the pressure of age, but to him who is of an opposite disposition youth and age are equally a burden.

Plato

age nature
Wisdom alone is the science of other sciences. - Plato

Wisdom alone is the science of other sciences.

Plato

alone science wisdom
There are two things a person should never be angry at, what they can help, and what they cannot. - Plato

There are two things a person should never be angry at, what they can help, and what they cannot.

Plato

anger
The beginning is the most important part of the work. - Plato

The beginning is the most important part of the work.

Plato

art work
Rhetoric is the art of ruling the minds of men. - Plato

Rhetoric is the art of ruling the minds of men.

Plato

art men
The man who makes everything that leads to happiness depends upon himself, and not upon other men, has adopted the very best plan for living happily. This is the man of moderation, the man of manly character and of wisdom. - Plato

The man who makes everything that leads to happiness depends upon himself, and not upon other men, has adopted the very best plan for living happily. This is the man of moderation, the man of manly character and of wisdom.

Plato

best happiness men wisdom
There's a victory, and defeat the first and best of victories, the lowest and worst of defeats which each man gains or sustains at the hands not of another, but of himself. - Plato

There's a victory, and defeat the first and best of victories, the lowest and worst of defeats which each man gains or sustains at the hands not of another, but of himself.

Plato

best
Justice means minding one's own business and not meddling with other men's concerns. - Plato

Justice means minding one's own business and not meddling with other men's concerns.

Plato

business men
Excess generally causes reaction, and produces a change in the opposite direction, whether it be in the seasons, or in individuals, or in governments. - Plato

Excess generally causes reaction, and produces a change in the opposite direction, whether it be in the seasons, or in individuals, or in governments.

Plato

change
Courage is a kind of salvation. - Plato

Courage is a kind of salvation.

Plato

courage
Courage is knowing what not to fear. - Plato

Courage is knowing what not to fear.

Plato

courage fear
No evil can happen to a good man, either in life or after death. - Plato

No evil can happen to a good man, either in life or after death.

Plato

death good life
Death is not the worst that can happen to men. - Plato

Death is not the worst that can happen to men.

Plato

death men
No one knows whether death, which people fear to be the greatest evil, may not be the greatest good. - Plato

No one knows whether death, which people fear to be the greatest evil, may not be the greatest good.

Plato

death fear good
Must not all things at the last be swallowed up in death? - Plato

Must not all things at the last be swallowed up in death?

Plato

death