Who Was Plato?
Born in Athens, 428 BC Plato was a famous philosopher. He was a student of Socrates, and a teacher of Aristotle. Both of Plato's parents came from an aristocracy. When Plato was younger, he was taught by the finest educators because of his place in social class. Being taught by Socrates heavily impacted his future of becoming a philosopher himself. Another important event that impacted his future was the Peloponnesian War. After Athens was replaced with an oligarchy, Plato considered taking a career in politics. But after the death of Socrates, he turned away from the idea and continued his life of study and philosophy.
`The Ideas of Plato
When Plato lived in Athens, he decided that a democracy wasn't a good type of government. He thought that the rule by the people did not result in fair or sensitive policies. Plato believed that people couldn't live good lives unless they had a fair and reasonable government. One of Plato's works were called the Republic. In the Republic, Plato showed his idea of a good government. His ideal government divided people into three groups. The first group were philosopher-kings that ruled with logic. The second group were the warriors that defended the state from attack. The last group was made up of the rest of the people. They would produce the state's food, clothing and shelter. Plato believed that men and women should have equal education and opportunity to have the same jobs.
Founding The Academy
One big impact he had on the community was founding a school for learning called The Academy. He would give lectures to students that came to The Academy from different parts of Greece. The Academy's curriculum and teachings included astronomy, biology, math, philosophy, and more. Plato hoped that The Academy would help show future leaders how to build a better government. One of Plato's most famous students was Aristotle who was also a famous philosopher.
The two statues on both sides of The Academy are Socrates and Plato standing guard.
Modern Examples of Plato's Philosophy
Plato believed that a government should divide people into three social classes. Philosopher-kings, warriors, and the people that provide for the state (as mentioned before). Some countries in the modern day are able to use these social classes, or include them in their government. Not all countries are able to use just these classes, but some countries' governments' somehow follow Plato's ideal government.
Journey Across Time Textbook, http://www.biography.com/people/plato-9442588, http://www.history.com/topics/ancient-history/plato