Wednesday, March 2, 2022


PLATO (Greek, c. 428-348 BCE)

Modern British philosopher Alfred North Whitehead once stated: "the safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato." A student of Socrates, he is the most important philosopher in Western tradition; if that weren't enough, his most important student, Aristotle, was nearly as influential if not moreso. Born in Athens and founder of the Academy, he may have left us 35 dialogues and 13 letters (authorship of some is disputed), all of which have survived virtually intact. It's difficult to know how much of the material he attributes to Socrates is genuinely Socratic, and how much is his own; in the end it's best to focus on the words and not worry too much about which of these two great Athenians said them.


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