Plato short biography
Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle are three shining stars in the world of human thought and knowledge. Socrates’ thoughts led to the emergence of Plato, and Plato in turn gave shape to the concept of the ideal state through Aristotle. They were not only the best philosophers of Greece, but also the representatives of knowledge throughout Europe. Plato was one of the few people who believed in the mercifulness of God and was born in a wealthy family.
Plato had an extraordinary body, a sweet voice, exceptional intelligence, a passion for knowledge, and the ability to learn from Socrates, all of which made him a fortunate person. His father was a distinguished person in Athens, but the aristocracy never gave him the opportunity to make contact with them.
He was indifferent to politics and national issues. The complexities of real life, as opposed to the boundless world of knowledge, made his mind even more restless. From childhood, he was contemplative and imaginative. At one point, Athens was very prosperous in all aspects.
Plato was a young man when Athens was at war with Syracuse. After this war, Athens began to decline. Democracy was destroyed and a tyrannical government was established. There was widespread poverty and injustice in society. Plato received education from various teachers and learned music, art, literature, and science from them. He had a deep respect for Socrates from his childhood. He was deeply influenced by Socrates’ knowledge and teaching methods, and after Socrates’ execution, Plato decided to leave Athens and travel to different places to gain more knowledge.
In the name of justice, a false execution was carried out and the victim was a Socrates. However, Socrates’ spirit lives on through his student Plato. Plato was not just a favorite student of Socrates, but also a carrier and disseminator of his knowledge. The level of deep respect and admiration for the teacher is rarely seen among students. Much of what Plato wrote is primarily about his main mentor, Socrates.
As a result, a problem has arisen for people in the present. Platos has made all his dialogues the center of everything and always kept himself in the background – never revealing himself. In the last phase of his life, Plato has described an extraordinary description of himself in his book “The Last Day of Socrates” which is unparalleled in the world.
It is difficult to accept the idea that a person of Plato’s caliber, who only followed Socrates blindly, only revealed his own thoughts and kept himself in the background. His dialogues were written over a long period of time. The idea that such a great philosopher and thinker would only spread the words of Socrates throughout his entire life, is something that cannot be comprehended. Therefore, it is believed by scholars that Plato has revealed his own thoughts in his writing.
His all these ambitions and inspirations come from Socrates’ life and his speeches. Plato was deeply saddened by the death of his teacher. Within a few years, Athens became completely under the control of the Spartans. And it was not safe to stay in Athens, so he left.
He traveled to various countries, where he had discussions with philosophers, scholars and thinkers on various topics. On one hand, his perspective and spread of knowledge developed, on the other hand, his reputation as a philosopher grew fourfold. He lived in exile for a long ten years and eventually returned to Athens.
Plato was a great student of the great teacher, Socrates. Like a bee gathering nectar from flowers, students flocked to Plato. Socrates taught in public places, but Plato couldn’t continue teaching in such an open environment because of the negative reaction of the authorities.
Plato had a garden in the suburbs of the city, where he opened a center of learning, which he named the Academy. He imparted his knowledge and philosophical thoughts to the students there.
One of the notable events in his life was when he was invited by the rulers of Sicily to serve as an advisor. He attempted to establish the island as an ideal state.
The vision of philosophers and the vision of statesmen never met. So, in the end, he returned to Athens, unsuccessful. He wrote about this experience in “Republic” where he describes the form of an ideal state.
Prior to Plato, there was no established system of philosophy. He founded it on a solid foundation, giving it new concepts and terminology. Throughout his life, he gave people a new perspective on understanding the world.
Although Europe rejected him, the Arab world embraced Plato’s ideas. He was considered one of the most influential figures among the thinkers of the time, alongside Aristotle.
Plato’s thoughts and ideas have had a profound impact on his era and have continued to shape the course of history. His full thoughts and ideologies are revealed in his famous work “Republic” which is considered one of the greatest literary works in the world.
Although the book primarily discusses politics, it also includes various other topics such as human life, society, art, education, and even procreation and science. It is a masterpiece of world literature.
Plato divided the citizens of a state into three classes: (1) ruling class, (2) military, and (3) commoners and artisans. The state is well-managed when these classes are in harmony and each performs its own duties properly.
He has said that rulers need knowledge, the ability of rulers-soldiers desire courage, the people’s need for restraint and rulers’ respect for them. The country’s development-regression depends on rulers to a large extent. So, he has given the greatest importance to the selection of rulers.
He believed that there is no place for dictators in a state’s power. “The existence of the state is not only for the sake of life, but as long as people are alive, they will strive for a better life.”
In his state, there will be no distinctions between high and low, only relationships of mutual kindness and love. In his book, he has said that the citizens will know and understand each other. Nothing can be better than this for the state.