Sophie’s World: Notes Plato Project: What is the difference between a society that condemns to death a great man such as Socrates, and one that treats such a man with respect and uses his gifts for the benefit of all? Plato, 428-347 BC, Athens Pupil of Socrates Age 29 at trial and death of Socrates, greatly affected by event After Socrates death he left Greece and spent 12 years traveling through Italy, Sicily, Egypt and Cyrene on a quest for knowledge At 40, he returned to Athens and founded a school in the Grove of Academe Writings First published work was Apology, an account of the trial of Socrates Wrote in the form of dialogues, often using Socrates as a main character Thus it is difficult to know which ideas are Plato’s and which are his teachers Famous for The Republic, an account of an ideal society ruled by philosopher kings The Theory of Ideas The physical world, the objects we perceive with our senses, is an ephemeral illusion. The objects we perceive represent imperfect manifestations of a perfect form The perfect forms, which are not present in the physical world, are called ideas Ideas, according to Plato, can only be known through use of the mind Physical forms we know through perception, which changes or flows Ideal forms we know through our reason, which is constant and eternal The Power of Reason Plato believed that the faculty of reason is innate to human beings, we are born with it True knowledge is eternal and can only be attained through use of reason All perfect forms, or ideas, are imprinted within us from birth, and it is within our power to recall these ideas. The sum of all knowledge is The Good, a power that sheds light upon all things (some call this Plato’s God) The Soul Man is a dual creature, a temporary physical body, and an immortal soul The soul enters the body from the world of Ideas and when waking forgets the existence of the Ideas. When we use our reason we begin to recollect the immutable Ideas, this creates a longing for the soul to return to the Idea world The longing of the soul to return to its origin, Plato called love Quotes: “Ignorance, the root and the stem of every evil.” “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” “The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.” “Necessity, who is the mother of invention."