Pythagoreanism Although Socrates influenced Plato directly as related in the dialogues, the influence of Pythagoras upon Plato also appears to have significant discussion in the philosophical literature. Pythagoras, or in a broader sense, the Pythagoreans, allegedly exercised an important influence on the work of Plato. Harethis influence consists of three points: It is probable that both were influenced by Orphism.
Life - from Politics to Philosophy Plato was born in Athens in c. Until his mid-twenties, Athens was involved in a long and disastrous military conflict with Sparta, known as the Peloponnesian War. But this never happened. Although cherishing the hope of assuming a significant place in his political community, he found himself continually thwarted.
As he relates in his autobiographical Seventh Letter, he could not identify himself with any of the contending political parties or the succession of corrupt regimes, each of which brought Athens to further decline ba.
He was a pupil of Socrates, whom he considered the most just man of his time, and who, although did not leave any writings behind, exerted a large influence on philosophy. It was perhaps because of this opinion that he retreated to his Academy and to Sicily for implementing his ideas.
He visited Syracuse first inthen inand again inwith the general purpose to moderate the Sicilian tyrants with philosophical education and to establish a model political rule. But this adventure with practical politics ended in failure, and Plato went back to Athens. His Academy, which provided a base for succeeding generations of Platonic philosophers until its final closure in C.
Mathematics, rhetoric, astronomy, dialectics, and other subjects, all seen as necessary for the education of philosophers and statesmen, were studied there.
His most renowned pupil was Aristotle. Plato died in c. During his lifetime, Athens turned away from her military and imperial ambitions and became the intellectual center of Greece. She gave host to all the four major Greek philosophical schools founded in the course of the fourth century: The Threefold Task of Political Philosophy Although the Republic, the Statesman, the Laws and a few shorter dialogues are considered to be the only strictly political dialogues of Plato, it can be argued that political philosophy was the area of his greatest concern.
In the English-speaking world, under the influence of twentieth century analytic philosophy, the main task of political philosophy today is still often seen as conceptual analysis: To understand what this means, it may be useful to think of concepts as the uses of words. Conceptual analysis then is a mental clearance, the clarification of a concept in its meaning.
As such it has a long tradition and is first introduced in Platonic dialogues. However, in contrast to what it is for some analytic philosophers, for Plato conceptual analysis is not an end to itself, but a preliminary step.
The next step is critical evaluation of beliefs, deciding which one of the incompatible ideas is correct and which one is wrong. For Plato, making decisions about the right political order are, along with the choice between peace and war, the most important choices one can make in politics.
Such decisions cannot be left solely to public opinion, he believes, which in many cases does not have enough foresight and gets its lessons only post factum from disasters recorded in history.
In his political philosophy, the clarification of concepts is thus a preliminary step in evaluating beliefs, and right beliefs in turn lead to an answer to the question of the best political order.
The Quest for Justice in The Republic One of the most fundamental ethical and political concepts is justice. It is a complex and ambiguous concept.
It may refer to individual virtue, the order of society, as well as individual rights in contrast to the claims of the general social order.
In Book I of the Republic, Socrates and his interlocutors discuss the meaning of justice. The old man of means Cephalus suggests the first definition. Yet this definition, which is based on traditional moral custom and relates justice to honesty and goodness; i.
It cannot withstand the challenge of new times and the power of critical thinking.
Socrates refutes it by presenting a counterexample. If we tacitly agree that justice is related to goodness, to return a weapon that was borrowed from someone who, although once sane, has turned into a madman does not seem to be just but involves a danger of harm to both sides.As follows from the principle of formal equality, all citizens of a society must have equal general rights and duties.
These rights and duties have to be grounded in general laws applying to everyone. A conception of justice is egalitarian when it views equality as a fundamental goal of justice.
L. Temkin has put it as follows. Conceptions of Equality/Plato, Aristotle and additions (References from a variety of sources, among them Joel Feinberg's Social Philosophy, Taylor's Plato, Ross's Aristotle, Strauss and Cropsey's History of Political Philosophy, the Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Hobbes's Leviathan.
Actually, Walzer's theory of complex equality is not aimed at equality but at the separation of spheres of justice, the theory's designation thus being misleading. Any theory of equality should however follow Walzer's advice not to be monistic but recognize the complexity .
In his second allegory, Plato argues that public opinion is not a personification of ‘wisdom’ (as the sophists would argue), but instead, it would lead society and leaders down a negative path of listening to desire, as opposed to what is objectively right or wrong (Plato, , p.
). The Nature of Women in Plato and Aristotle. Plato and Aristotle's view of the nature and capabilities of women. Having dispensed with the individual family in his system of government, and not knowing any longer what to do with women, he finds himself forced to turn them into men?.
Thus, to achieve justice, modern society needs the Platonic theory education, for Plato's philosophy of education will provide a comprehensive vision to solve those problems in education.
There is also some controversy about the relationship between education and economics.