Plato: a history of his life and philosophies

Essay by Lizzyb23High School, 11th grade May 2004

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A famous man once said, "ideas are endless." This man has been worldly known for many years for his millions of ideas and philosophies. His successors and predecessors were forever referring to his work, and examining his theories. This Greek man's name was Plato. More important than the man himself, were the theories that he created. His work is still taught today and used around the world by people in their everyday lives. By examining things people will forever question, and have been asking since the beginning of time, Plato helps to give insight into the curious world around us. Plato had different theories on almost all aspects of life, but his most intriguing and important philosophies are those about life itself and things within it. All of Plato's theories tried to answer his ultimate question of, "what is life?" but mostly he helped define it by discussing his philosophies life and things within it, these were the philosophies on ideas themselves, the value of art in our lives, immortality, and love.

Plato had very distinct views on the theory of ideas, or "forms." He constantly questioned change in the physical world. Eventually he combined Heraclites' theory that said that nothing is stable except the fact that things change, and Parmenides' theory, that said that change and motion were an illusion. Fundamentally, the question Plato asked himself was how to live a good life. He asked this to find his theory of why people have ideas. He shaped his theory in the answer of two parallel questions; what is justice in the State? Also, what is a just individual? First, Plato defined a State by four great virtues: courage, wisdom, temperance, and justice. He then discussed what justice in a state is, making his theory the...