Major Contributions Of Plato

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Plato: Works and Contributions
The Ancient Greeks have been credited with many contributions to society throughout history. From Science to Art and Literature, the Greeks have heavily influenced some of the cultures that later followed such as the Romans in the 700’s. Out of these contributions non other was more influential to modern times than Philosophy. The Greek word “Philosophy”, the study of ideas about knowledge, truth, the nature and meaning of life (Webster). Western Philosophy as we know it today was studied by many such as Anaximander and Hippocrates and even Socrates, who taught to use systematic questioning to explain the truths of the universe by teaching his students to take nothing for granted. It was his student Plato whom
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Plato took up philosophy at an early age and by the time he had made acquaintance with Socrates had become familiar with the doctrine. (Jowett 7)
Under the tutelage of Socrates, Plato learned the Socratic Method or new way of looking at and thinking when it came to the world and nature. After Socrates, death in 399 B.C, Plato would go on to take the lectures and teachings form his mentor and put them into literal writings. Plato had many works known as “Dialogues” during this era. Even though many have been credited to him, “only thirty-six of his dialogues have been considered genuine by librarians and scholars “. (Taylor 11)
Out of these works no other stand out as much as “The Republic”. The Republic, Plato’s most famous dialogue covers a lecture narrated by Socrates on the state of government in Greece. The dialogue covers two main questions, “What is the meaning of justice” and “Does Justice equal Happiness?” (Plato
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The other three were Wisdom, Courage and Moderation. The Republic also addressed issues of society such as the role of women and laws which would also be addressed further in a Dialogue known as Laws. (Jowett 313)
The Academy Another contribution that Plato made to the world of Philosophy was the very first European center of philosophy known as the Academy. Founded between 388 and389 B.C, Academy is famous for the place where Plato taught, but as a place of education and training, it existed before him. The name Academy was said to be taken from the legendary founder Hekademos. (Barber 182)
The Academy started as more of an informal center of education as it was designed as a place outside of the walls of Athens where philosophers could get together and discuss doctrine. (Taylor 9)
Here, Plato taught on politics concerning government, laws and the commonwealth of the people. The founding of the institution demonstrated one of the differences between Plato’s mentor Socrates and himself. Socrates believed that fundamental knowledge was solely founded on one’s inner reflection of self and could not be taught to another. This could be one of the main contributing factors of no formal school or institution being founded by Socrates before his death. (Johnson
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