Plato was a Greek thinker, a pupil of Socrates and a teacher of Aristotle . His different writings are in charge of exploring justice, beauty and equality, and at the same time touch on topics related to aesthetics , philosophy , politics , theology , cosmology , epistemology and the philosophy of language.

  • When was he born:  427 BC
  • Where he was born:  Athens, Greece
  • When he died:  347 BC
  • Where he died:  Athens, Greece

Who was Plato?

Plato was an important and renowned Greek philosopher who created the Academy and a large number of different philosophical works that have achieved an unprecedented high degree of impact in Western thought .

  • Plato Biography
  • features
  • Plato’s thought
  • Main ideas
  • Philosophical theory
  • Plato’s contributions
  • Method
  • Politics
  • Plays
  • Famous phrases of Plato

Plato Biography

Plato was born in Athens probably around 428 or 427 BC, in an aristocratic family. At the beginning he had a certain political vocation but he abandoned it to follow his literary hobbies for philosophy , attracted by Socrates . He was his disciple and he was openly against the sophists . After the death of Socrates he fled from Athens and completely separated himself from public life.


He traveled through the East and Italy, and joined the disciples of Pythagoras . He was a prisoner for some time until he was rescued and was able to return to Athens . When he returned, in 387 he founded the “ Academo ” school of philosophy on the outskirts of the city.

In the year 369 he made a second trip to Syracuse , to the court of Dionysius II to take charge of his education; but the results were not better and he managed to leave Syracuse and return to Athens. Dionysus also had to take refuge in Athens having fallen out with Dionysus I, where he continued his friendship with Plato. In 361, and at the request of Dionysus II, he returned to Syracuse, but was unsuccessful and returned to Athens in 360 where he continued working at the Academy , where he allowed himself to be won over by disappointment and pessimism , which is reflected in his last works, until his death in the year 348-347 .


The characteristics that made Plato unique are as follows.

  • His philosophy had a practical and political purpose.
  • He sought to give a vision of reality and provide solutions to the problems of change and permanence.
  • He founded the Academy of Philosophy, Mathematics, Astronomy, and Physical Sciences.
  • He wrote more than 25 treatises .
  • He did not like music or art so he censored a lot of them.
  • Work women equally.
  • For him, rulers did not enjoy possessions.

Plato’s thought

His thought represents dualism because for him there were two opposite worlds. His thought defended that the knowledge of things is achieved through dialectics and defines it as the path that leads the human being from ignorance to knowledge. As for politics, Plato was based on ethics and politics based on the concept of justice because for him, justice in the individual is based on the three parts of the soul: rational soul, irascible soul and concupiscible soul .

Main ideas

Its main ideas on which was writing and composing his dialogues were mainly based on the philosophy politics, psychology , ethics , epistemology , philosophical anthropology, epistemology , cosmology, metaphysics , philosophy of language, philosophy of education .

He based his ideas on the theory of ideas where he expresses his ideas that there were two worlds; the world of ideas and the world of things . That of ideas was the one that we cannot distinguish with our senses and that of things that is the sensible world, the one that we can perceive through our senses.

Philosophical theory

His philosophy was based on the theory of ideas through which he articulated all his thought . He saw two ways of seeing reality, one intelligible which he called an idea and which for him was immaterial and eternal, alien to change and sensitive; and a sensitive one that was made up of things with material characteristics, which could be subjected to changes and destruction.

He also considered that Ideas were hierarchical in such a way that the first rank corresponds to the idea of ​​good , which also involved ethical and aesthetic objects, then there were ideas about mathematical objects and lastly, those of things .

Plato’s contributions

Plato made several important contributions in different fields, below we mention some of them:

  • Management:
    • He classified the forms of government .
    • He made a classification of the different social classes .
    • It embodied the conception of a State
  • Philosophy and science:
    • He contributed the theory of ideas , dialectics and the methodical search for knowledge.
    • He founded the methodical search for knowledge.
    • He divided the human soul into two opposite worlds, the positive and the negative.
    • He taught that knowledge is innate and that it comes from birth.
    • Thanks to their contributions, systematic psychology was created .
  • Math:
    • Introduced the concept of logic .
    • He taught about the Platonic solids of the elements earth, air, fire, and water through geometric figures.
    • His works on lines and squares led to the definition of various types of triangles .


Plato’s method was called dialectic and it was a method based on interrogation , questions and answers . It conserved the fundamental elements of Socrates’ maieutics and conserved the idea that the philosophical method was a contrast to critical opinion . Through his method, ideas, the sensible and the intelligible could be accessed. He also defines it as a discourse in which a tradition or thesis is opposed , and shows the problems and contradictions or antitheses .


For Plato the State should be based on ethics and see man as a being that can only live in an organized society . For him, no individual can have a normal life if he is isolated, because man is a social being ; he is an active citizen, willing to respect and accept the society in which he lives. The moral and the principles of justice must be the same for the citizen and the State, so that everyone could be happy.


Plato’s Dialogues: These dialogues were made to emulate Socrates’ teachings that were for pedagogical purposes . Plato took the stage and placed several people to discuss topics such as love , art, and justice . The dialogues are organized by periods, in this way in each period there are different dialogues:

  • First period or Socratic period : we find for example the Apology of Socrates, the dialogue of Crito on justice and injustice, the dialogue on courage or of Laques, Protagoras , Gorgias , that of Lysis or the friendship and dialogue of Carmines.
  • Second period : they were texts written in his maturity as a philosopher and we find texts such as the dialogue of Phaedo or about the nature of virtue, Phaedo or about the soul, of the Republic, the Banquet, Phaedrus, Euthidemus, Menéxeno, Cratylus.
  • Third period : we find the dialogues of Parmenides, Theetus, Sophist, Timaeus, Critias, Philebos, Laws.

Famous phrases of Plato

Some famous phrases of Plato are the following:

  • Where love reigns, laws are superfluous
  • The best wealth is to be content living with little
  • Thinking is the dialogue of the soul with itself
  • The music is for the soul what gymnastics for the body
  • It is not in men but in things that the truth must be sought

Leave a Comment