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Plato. Michael Ryan Clark. Background. (428-347 BC) Was 29 years old when Socrates was put to death He had been a pupil of his Inspired Plato to better study the conflicts in how society is and how the true and ideal society should be.

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Michael Ryan Clark



  • (428-347 BC)

  • Was 29 years old when Socrates was put to death

    • He had been a pupil of his

    • Inspired Plato to better study the conflicts in how society is and how the true and ideal society should be.

    • First deed as a philosopher was to publish Socrates’ Apology

    • He set up his own school of learning called the Academy

The eternally true beautiful and good

The Eternally true, beautiful, and good

  • Plato was concerned with the relationship between what was eternal and undeniable and what “flows”.

    • Similar to Socrates and the Sophists

  • Interested in this relationship as it relates to both nature and in morals/society.

    • Goal was essentially to grasp a reality which encompassed both.

    • Wanted to draw people’s attention to what is eternally true, beautiful, and good.

A world of ideas

A world of ideas

  • Plato believed that everything in the natural world flowed.

  • Believed that although everything is made of material that is subject to erosion.

    • But also thought that everything was made from a timeless mold that is eternal and undeniable.

    • His focus, unlike Democritus, was not on the changing elements, but the original and unchanging pattern that first existed.

    • He came to the conclusion that there must be a reality behind the material world, the world of ideas, which had original patterns that existed from the beginning.



  • Everyone loves Legos

  • Imagine you build a Lego building and take it down and put it back in the box.

  • The building cant rebuild itself, you have to do it.

  • You can do this using an original sketch implanted in your mind that was the model and remains both undeniable and eternal.

True knowledge

True knowledge

  • Plato strongly believed that we can not always trust the evidence of our senses.

  • Everything in the natural world around us in constantly flowing and changing.

  • His point was that we can never have true knowledge of anything that is constantly in a state of change.



  • Mr. Dunn asks the class which color of the rainbow is prettiest.

  • Joe says pink, Kevin says purple, Jad says violet, and so on.

    • Many different answers.

    • He then asks what 8x3 is.

    • All the answers are the same, 24 (hopefully).

    • Reason is now being used instead of feeling, or the use of senses, a strong belief of Plato.

    • We can have inexact conceptions of things sought with our senses, true knowledge and understanding comes through reason.

Two regions

Two regions

  • Plato believed mainly that reality is divided into two regions

    • World of Senses- we can have approximate knowledge and incomplete conclusions through the use of our five senses.

    • World of Ideas- true knowledge is gained using reason, and the studying of the original and eternal forms, not of changing ideas.

The philosophic state

The philosophic state

  • Plato’s idea of the ideal state is one governed by philosophers.

  • Gives an example using the human body.

    • Body is composed of three parts, head (reason), chest (will), and abdomen (appetite).

    • When these parts work together, a harmonious being is formed.

    • The ideal state would include officials who each know their overall place.

    • His political philosophy is characterized by rationalism, and the idea that a good state depends on its being governed with reason.

Works cited

Works cited

  • Gaarder, Jostein. Sophie's World: a Novel about the History of Philosophy. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1994. Print.


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