Note 7 - Plato (428/7 348/7 BCE) Who was Plato? Promising...

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Plato (428/7 – 348/7 BCE)
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Who was Plato? Promising son of a prominent Athenian family. Was “groomed” for an illustrious political career. Came under the “spell” of Socrates. Was so disillusioned by Socrates’ execution that he abandoned politics, and turned to philosophy.
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Who was Plato? (continued) After Socrates’ death, Plato (among others) wrote “Socratic dialogues” to justify Socrates’ philosophical mission. Within fifteen years of Socrates’ death Plato founded the “Academy”: the first “university” in Western culture. The Academy educated students in mathematics and philosophy. The purpose of the Academy was to train students to become “philosopher kings” in their cities.
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Plato’s Academy (Roman mosaic)
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Plato’s Writings 1. Letters— autobiographical, but their genuineness is disputed. The Seventh Letter is the most famous 2. Dialogues. Plato left two kinds of writings:
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Plato’s Dialogues About 27 dialogues are attributed to Plato that are known to be genuine. About a dozen others that are either known forgeries or are suspected of being forgeries. Plato’s dialogues are divisible into three groups: the early dialogues (13), the middle dialogues (8) and the late dialogues (6). Almost all Plato’s dialogues feature Socrates as the main speaker!
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Plato’s Early Dialogues Most scholars believe that Plato’s early dialogues are intended as representations of the historical Socrates. Even though Socrates continues to be the
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This note was uploaded on 07/31/2008 for the course PHL 103 taught by Professor Zeyl during the Fall '08 term at Rhode Island.

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Note 7 - Plato (428/7 348/7 BCE) Who was Plato? Promising...

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