PLATO (428-347BC) – PHILOSOPHY
The Western philosophy begins with Greek period, which supposed to be from 600 B.C. –
400 A.D. This period also can be classified into three parts –
(a) Pre Socrates period – Which includes the thinkers like Thales, Heraclites,
Parmenides, Pythagoras etc, in which Heraclites gave the thoughts of continuous
changing and in contrary Parmenides gave the thoughts of permanent unchanging;
while Pythagoras was a great Mathematical philosopher.
(b) Socrates period – Which includes the thoughts of Plato and Aristotle in addition
(c) Post Socrates – Which includes the thoughts of Plotinus etc.
As far as Plato is concerned, He is known as a perfect Greek, because in Plato’s thought
the Greek philosophy reached at its extreme, because Plato reconciliated the philosophical
thoughts of his prominent precursors and in the twentieth century A.N.Whitehead, Great
Mathematician made a comment that whole western philosophy is footnote on Plato’s
philosophy. So, Plato not only was influenced by his precursors but directly or indirectly has
influenced all future philosophers.
Plato was influenced by continuous changing of Heraclites, but he confined it only up to
the material world and said that all the objects of the material world are influx or this material
world is continuous changing. On the other hand, he was also influenced by Parmenides because
as Parmenides said that the Absolute Reality is unchanging, indestructible, immutable, eternal,
and permanent. Plato also said that the IDEAS are immutable and permanent. Plato was also
influenced by anatomists like Leucippus and Democritus, because as they supposed that atoms
are infinite in number, similarly Plato said about the Ideas. Plato was also influenced by
Numbers and Mathematics of Pythagoras, because right from here the conceptual knowledge
Apart from them Plato was deeply influenced by his teacher Socrates, that is why in his
dialogues the main speaker is Socrates. Plato wrote number of dialogues; in which, first one
was Apology and among other important dialogues Parmenides, Republic, Symposium, Pheado,
Meno, Laws, etc. can be named.