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Plato (427 - 347 BC)

Updated Wednesday 30th August 2006

Plato, born in Athens, is one of the key figures of Greek philosophy.

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Plato's works include the dialogues that recorded Socrates philosophical thought, which formed the basis of Plato’s own philosophy.

After Socrates’ death in 399 BC, Plato began a period of travel that took him to Egypt and Sicily, before returning to Athens around 385 BC, where he founded the Academy school. It was here that the young Aristotle was to begin his philosophical training under Plato’s supervision.

Perhaps his most well known work is The Republic, in which justice and its importance in an imaginary state is discussed, together with an exploration of the qualities required by the rulers and the citizens of this state. Plato explains that a ruler in such a state must have the philosophical knowledge of the Good and describes the education that would be required to produce this just ruler.

Plato’s position in philosophy is probably only rivalled by one of his pupils, Aristotle. Between them they form a key foundation for western philosophy and their influence reaches throughout the centuries.

Read a more detailed article on Plato's relevance to the issue of Trust in Plato's Republic.

 

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