PLATO: His Biography and Works

Essay by gwdukeHigh School, 11th gradeA+, June 2005

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Plato stands at the center of philosophical thought in the ancient world. He was the first person to approach philosophical issues systematically, but it was the genius with which he treated those issues that made his thought so influential. Virtually every philosopher who came after Plato agreeing or disagreeing with his works. Moreover, Plato's influence was hardly limited to the ancient world. Plato's thought was studied throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, and continues to be crucial to an understanding of philosophical issues. Although the correctness of his doctrines has always been the subject of vigorous debate, no one can deny the pervasive influence of Plato's thought on the history of Western philosophy. Plato's thrilling life-story and his multiple theories will influence mankind for all eternity.(Kenny 22)

From Plato's birth to his death, he experienced the life of a soldier during war times, the complete exploration of the known world, the many riches of being wealthy, the vast fields of science and mathematics, and the total depth of true philosophy.

All of his long 80 years were well spent and put to good use. The life story of Plato is composed of a little bit of everything.

Plato was born in Athens in about 427 B.C. and died there in about 347 B.C. The original name of this Athenian aristocrat was Aristotle, but in his school days he received the nickname 'Platon' (meaning 'broad') because of his broad shoulders. He was the youngest son of Ariston and Perictione who both came from famous, wealthy families who had lived in Athens for generations. While Plato was a young man, his father died and his mother remarried. Her second husband was a man named Pyrilampes. It was mostly in Pyrilampes' house that Plato was brought up.

In his early life, he...