Plato, Theorotical Perspective

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Plato was the youngest son of Ariston and Perictione who both came from famous wealthy families who had lived in Athens for generations. While Plato was a young man his father died and his mother remarried. Plato left Athens after Socrates had been executed and traveled in Egypt, Sicily and Italy. In Egypt he learnt of a water clock and later introduced it into Greece. In Italy he learned of the work of Pythagoras and came to appreciate the value of mathematics. This was an event of great importance since from the ideas Plato gained from the disciples of Pythagoras, he formed his idea, that the reality which scientific thought is seeking must be expressible in mathematical terms, mathematics being the most precise and definite kind of thinking of which we are capable. The significance of this idea for the development of science from the first beginnings to the present day has been immense.

Plato's main contributions are in philosophy, mathematics and science. However, it is not as easy as one might expect to discover Plato's philosophical views. The reason for this is that Plato wrote no systematic treatise giving his views, rather he wrote a number of dialogues (about 30) which are written in the form of conversations. Firstly we should comment on what superb pieces of literature these dialogues are. They show the mastery of language, the power of indicating character, the sense of a situation, and the keen eye for both its tragic and its comic aspects, which set Plato among the greatest writers of the world. He uses these gifts to the full in inculcating the lessons he wants to teach.

Moreover, The reality described by a true definition of justice is not one located in any particular place or time, it does not...