12/14/17Plato was the most influential thinker of ancient times and his philosophies has significant contribution to the western civilization. Plato was born in a wealthy family around 428 B.C.E. in the family of Greek Aristocracy. Plato’s father, Ariston, descended from the king of the Athens and Messenia. His mother, Perictione, is said to be related to the 6th century B.C.E. Greek statement solon. Plato was taught doctrines of Cratylus and Pythagoras as well as Parmenides by some of Athens finest educators. This help Plato develop foundation for metaphysics and epistemology. Plato meeting the great philosopher Socrates and serving war between Athens and Sparta are the two major events that set his course in life. The Spartan victory over Athens provoked the city-state rights and this began Plato’s growing distaste for Democracy. Plato began to follow Socrates and it led to pursue his desire to philosophy. Socrates was executed in 399 by newly leading democratic leaders of Athens. The execution of his mentor soured him that he turned to a life of study and philosophy. After Socrates death, Plato traveled throughout Mediterranean region, studying mathematics with the Pythagoreans in Italy and geometry, astronomy, geology, astronomy and religion in Egypt. Soon after traveling, he began his writing. Socrates did not leave any of his written records; however, we know him because he is the character that Plato used in many of his philosophical writing in his early and middle years of writing. The apology of Socrates was written shortly after Socrates death. The events in Plato’s life developed his principles the impact western civilization. He founded a school called the academy that taught about Socrates and his ideas. One of the academy student was Aristotle and he went to find his own school called Lyceum.
Many scholars divide Plato’s work in the early, middle and periods. Other early works are Protagoras, Euthyphro, Hippias major and minor and ion. During the middle period, he wrote about justice, courage, wisdom and moderation of individual and society. The republic was written when government were ruled by philosopher kings. In the late period, he assign Socrates minor role and focused more on his own metaphysical ideas. He explored the role of art, including dance, music, drama and architecture, as well as ethics and morality.
Symposium is one of the most notable text of Plato. Plato assigns Aristophanes a memorable and beautiful speech that has influenced today’s writers. Aristophanes’ speech takes the form of a creation myth – the story of an ancestral race of human beings who were neither male or female but a combination of both, who grew so strong together that they challenged the gods and were splits into two incomplete halves. Plato does not assign this speech as a serious attempt to explain human history but he is trying to create metaphor for something else that he sees as a crucial element of human nature. We as human has a deep and aching need that we have to find a person to complete what is lacking in ourselves. The central rhetorical device that Plato uses in “The speech of Aristophanes” is and extended analogy between the creatures that Aristophanes describes and real human beings, who feel the same sense of loss and emptiness because we have been diagnosed to be fulfilled by other people.