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Plato's Life And Events

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Plato whose real name is believed to have been Aristocles, was an immensely influential ancient Greek philosopher, a student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens where Aristotle studied.

Plato lectured extensively at the Academy, and wrote on many philosophical issues, dealing especially in politics, ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology. The most important writings of Plato are his dialogues, although some letters have come down to us under his name. It is believed that all of Plato's authentic dialogues survive. However, some dialogues ascribed to Plato by the Greeks are now considered by the consensus of scholars to be either suspect (e.g., First Alcibiades, Clitophon) or probably spurious (such as Demodocus, or the Second Alcibiades). The letters are all considered to probably be spurious, with the possible exception of the Seventh Letter.

Socrates is often a character in Plato's dialogues. How much of the content and argument of any given dialogue is Socrates' point of view, and how much of it is Plato's, is heavily disputed, since Socrates himself did not write anything; this is often referred to as the "Socratic problem". However, Plato was doubtless strongly influenced by Socrates' teachings, so many of the ideas presented, at least in his early works, were probably borrowings or adaptations.

Plato was born in Athens in May or December in 428 or 427 BC. He was raised in a moderately well-to-do aristocratic family. His father was named Ariston, and his mother Perictione. His family claimed descent from the ancient Athenian kings, and he was related Ð'- though there is disagreement as to exactly how Ð'- to the prominent politician Critias. According to a late Hellenistic account by Diogenes Laertius, Plato's given name was Aristocles, whereas his wrestling coach, Ariston of Argos, dubbed him "Platon", meaning "broad" on account of his robust figure. Diogenes mentions alternative accounts that Plato derived his name from the breadth (platutÐ"Єs) of his eloquence, or else because he was very wide (platus) across the forehead. According to Dicaearchus, Plato wrestled at the Isthmian games. Such was his learning and ability that the ancient Greeks declared him to be the son of Apollo and told how, in his infancy, bees had settled on his lips, as prophecy of the honeyed words

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