“Plato in his academy” 1879. Author: Carl Wahlbom.
Athens, Greece, 428/427 B.C.-Athens, Greece, 348/347 B.C.
Plato was a prominent Athenian philosopher educated in poetry, gymnastics and philosophy whose work in the shaping of Western thought has been a transcendental influence. His dialogues are still a reference for Philosophy containing both discussions about theology, cosmology, aesthetics and politics.
Socrates was the teacher of a young Plato and after his death, Plato traveled to Italy, Sicily and Egypt to learn mathematics, geometry, geology and religion with other philosophers and to form himself a noble character and inclined towards virtue.
On his return he founded the Academy in Athens, a compound for the study of philosophy to which to enter it was necessary to know geometry, for he believed that mathematics were essential for understanding the universe. This school taught various disciplines and is probably the precedent of universities. In his Academy, he gave lectures to students of varied backgrounds, and had Aristotle as a student.
Plato shaped his thoughts in the form of dialogues, a series of 36 letters that address issues such as the dialectical method of Socrates, the nature of love and the use of reason to develop a just society based on the equality of persons. This last issue laid the foundations of the modern concept of democracy.
The impact of the discussions of Plato has retained its validity beyond Greece and through several centuries after its conception. Along with Socrates and Aristotle, he is part of the group of leading philosophers of Ancient Greece.