Roman copy of a portrait bust c. 370 BC
Born428/427 or 424/423 BC
Died348 BC (aged c. 75-76 or 79-80)
Athens, Greece
Notable work
EraAncient Greek philosophy
SchoolPlatonic Academy
Notable studentsAristotle
Main interests
Epistemology, Metaphysics
Political philosophy
Notable ideas
Allegory of the cave

Cardinal virtues
Form of the Good
Theory of forms
Divisions of the soul
Platonic love

Platonic solids

Plato (/ˈplt/ PLAY-toe;[1] born Aristocles; c. 427 – 348 BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher of the Classical period who is considered a top thinker in Philosophy. He is the namesake of Platonic love and the Platonic solids. He founded the Academy, a philosophical school in Athens where Plato taught the doctrines that would later become known as Platonism. The philosopher was an innovator of the written dialogue and dialectic forms in philosophy. He was a system-builder. He also raised problems for what became all the major areas of both theoretical philosophy and practical philosophy.

Plato's most famous contribution is the theory of forms (or ideas), which has been interpreted as advancing a solution to what is now known as the problem of universals. He had decisive influence in the pre-Socratic thinkers Pythagoras, Heraclitus, and Parmenides, although much of what is known about them derives from Plato himself.[a]

Along with his teacher Socrates, and Aristotle, his student, Plato is a central figure in the history of philosophy.[b] Plato's entire body of work is believed to have survived intact for over 2,400 years—unlike that of nearly all of his contemporaries.[5] Although their popularity has fluctuated, they have consistently been read and studied through the ages.[6] Through Neoplatonism, he also greatly influenced both Christian and Islamic philosophy.[c] In modern times, Alfred North Whitehead famously said: "the safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato."[7]

  1. ^ Jones 2006.
  2. ^ Brickhouse & Smith.
  3. ^ Kraut 2013
  4. ^ Duignan, Brian. "Plato and Aristotle: How Do They Differ?". Britannica. Archived from the original on 17 December 2023. Plato (c. 428–c. 348 BCE) and Aristotle (384–322 BCE) are generally regarded as the two greatest figures of Western philosophy
  5. ^ Cooper, John M.; Hutchinson, D.S., eds. (1997): "Introduction."
  6. ^ Cooper 1997, p. vii.
  7. ^ Whitehead 1978, p. 39.

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