A-Z: General definitions: Plato


Plato was born around 425 BC, either in Athens or on the nearby island of Aegina. As a young man, he became a student of Socrates. When his mentor fell foul of the Athenian authorities, Plato tried to help his teacher, but in 399 BC, Socrates was condemned to death. However, Socrates’ teachings survived in the work of Plato, and he in turn, as teacher to Aristotle, helped establish a tradition of philosophical discussion and debate which has continued into modern times. His idealistic teachings form a coherent set of beliefs, which were developed down the centuries into a form known as Neoplatonism. These were sometimes melded with Christian beliefs. Sometimes the term is narrowly applied to a form of non-sexual love.

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Impact of classical literature: Plato's idealism

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