Choose ONE of the following:
Essay MUST be 4-5 pages in length and have 3 outside sources and 3 footnotes. WIKIPEDIA is NOT acceptable.
At least 20% of the paper must be your personal opinion of this person.
80% of the essay is the persons’ biography.
Plato was a great philosopher who is believed to have been born during the period between 429 and 423 BCE in Athens, Greece by his father Ariston and mother Perictione. Some scholars hold the belief that he acquired his name from his grandfather as was the traditional naming system of the eldest son after the grandfather.
Having come from a descent family, Plato received among the finest education in Athens where the curriculum correctly featured doctrines of Pythagoras, Cratylus and Parmenides. This is believed to have largely founded his study of metaphysics and epistemology. While a young boy, his father died and the mother got remarried to Pyrilampses, a great politician and a renowned ambassador to Persia.
Still a young man, Plato encountered two major life events which set a great course for his life. One of them was his meeting with Socrates who was a Greek philosopher. Socrates dialogue methods and his debates greatly impressed Plato and he became his close associate especially in questions regarding virtue and formation of a noble personality. Another significant encounter was the Peloponnesium war which was between Sparta and Athens where Plato served during the period between 404 and 409 B.C.E. After democracy was restored from the war, Plato considered pursuing a career in politics but with the execution of Socrates in the 399 B.C.E, he withdrew this idea and dedicated his life to study philosophy
Plato is known as being one of the best philosophers in the world. He was Socrates student and Aristotle’s teacher whose writings were mainly in middle of the 4th century. His work was mostly influenced by Parmenides, Pythagoreans and Heraclitus. After the death of Socrates, Plato is believed to have spent 12 more years travelling in the land of Sicily, Southern Italy and Egypt. He began his long life relationship with the family of Syracuse that later sought his advice on how to reform their City’s politics. At about the age of forty years, Plato came back to Athens where he founded a philosophical school. In the open-air academy, he gave lectures to the students who were gathered from all over Greek and as research holds, most of Plato’s dialogues are seen to have originated from these teachings (Stayton, 2014).
Plato is believed to have done a lot of philosophical writings. In majority of these writings, he brings out the idea of recurrent themes. Here, he provides a discussion of a father-son relationship where he questions whether a fathers’ interest in his son has any much to do with whether a son turns out to be well behaved or not. In his further argument, he indicates that a good relationship between a father and a son contributes to a positive outcome of the sons’ behaviours while a negative relationship results to a negative outcome. In my opinions however, this does not always turn out to be the case. These were just Platos’ personal views and lacked adequate scientific evidence and therefore the likelihood that it might not be scientifically correct.
In other writings regarding the State, Plato provides an assertion that the society is made up of three classes. The first class consists of the workers such as the labours, who he indicates as the ‘appetite’ soul, then there are the warriors, most of which protect the nation and are the ‘spirit’ soul within a country and finally are the governors and rulers who mainly lead a nation. He laid arguments that it is better being ruled by a tyrant, as there would only be one person being committed to bad deeds as opposed to being ruled by a bad democracy where all people were responsible for the bad actions (Haymond, 2005). These writing however fail to provide a clearer understanding as to which is the most important component within any given society thus making it subject to a lot of personal opinions from different scholars.
In further writings regarding epistemology, Plato argued that knowledge was always proportionate to the dimension in which it was being acquired. In his dialogues, Plato presented the idea that knowledge was acquired through recollection and not only from mere learning, study or observation. As such, he concluded that knowledge was not just empirical but that it arose from some form of divine insight 
In the writings about ethics, Plato held a goal-oriented worldview where he believed that the core purpose of ethics was to provide an outline of the conditions in which a society ought to function harmoniously. His argument was that virtue was an excellence of the soul which composed of various components i.e. spirit, passion and reason. His believe was that virtue was a kind of knowledge (of both evil and good) which was required in order to reach the ultimate good. From my opinion, strictly adhering to this point of view is misleading as ethics are defined differently depending one ones’ beliefs.
Plato’s arguments on Aesthetica were based on his believes of aesthetically appealing objects as being beautiful and that they ought to be incorporated and harmonized. While a youth, he had practiced poetry and had great literary styles in addition to being a story-teller. He however established that art was a threatening career. As such, in order to protect and train the ideal citizens for a society which was also ideal, he held the believe that there was a need to strictly control art and therefore proposed for the exclusion of poets, musicians and playwrights from the ideal republic. He further indicated that art is just an imitation of objects as well as events in the ordinary life and that it was just an illusion as opposed to an ordinary experience therefore the need to be considered as a form of entertainment (D’Angour, 2013).)
In the dialogues of “symposium” and “Phaedrus” Plato, Plato further introduces the theory of love. He clearly indicates that the actual sexual contact or physical love between two lovers as being degraded and a wasteful form of the erotic expression. He lays the argument that unless the power of love is culminated into the knowledge of the different forms of beauty, it is doomed to some frustration. In this dialogue Plato further indicate that in most cases, people often squander the real love power when they limit themselves just to the pleasures of physical beauty. Although this argument may be correct, different people hold different definitions of love and as such, Plato’s ideals may not be applicable to all people.
It clearly emerges that Plato had a life which would be considered as being successful as he made very significant contributions to philosophy. Although majority of his writings and dialogue sound true, it is however important for an individual to have a critical analysis of the contents in the writings so that they are able to make the right choices.
D’Angour, A., (2013). Plato and Play: Taking Education Seriously in Ancient Greece. American Journal of Play, 5(3), 293-307.
Haymond,B., (2005). A Modern Worldview from Plato’s Cave. United States: Temple Study.
Stayton, J., (2014). The Immortality of the Soul in Plato ‘s Phaedo. Philosophy Honors Theses. Paper 2.
 Plato, ., & Plochmann, G. K. (1973). Plato. New York: Dell Pub. Co.
 Plato, ., & Allen, R. E. (1984). The dialogues of Plato. New Haven: Yale University Press.
 Amir, L., (2001). Plato’s theory of Love: Rationality as Passion. Journal of the society for philosophy in practice, 9 (2), 1-9.
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