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History
IN OUR TIME'S GREATEST PHILOSOPHER VOTE
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GREATEST PHILOSOPHER

 
Plato (427-347 BC)
advocated by Angie Hobbs

 Listen to Angie Hobbs say why you should vote for Plato

Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.

Plato, as painted by Raffaello Sanzio.The English philosopher and mathematician, A.N. Whitehead declared, "The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato" and many would agree.

Born an Athenian nobleman, Plato rejected social privilege to devote his life to philosophy. A teacher of Aristotle, Plato founded perhaps the most famous philosophical school in history, the Academy, and his works such as The Republic, The Symposium and the Phaedrus are the main reason we know anything about Socrates.

Plato established the dialogue as a vehicle of philosophical thought and his writing on topics as varied as love, government, politics, ethics, friendship, metaphysics, law and cosmology set out the terms of much of what we call philosophy today.

He is responsible for some of the most spellbinding philosophical ideas ever laid down; notably his theory of the forms - that all things on earth are imperfect copies of their perfect archetypes in another realm - and his myth of the cave (that humans are like men sitting in a cave seeing shadows on the wall). Plato would have us step out of the cave and walk in the sun.

Works by Plato on Project Gutenberg

Read about Plato on Wikipedia

Read about Plato on Philosophy pages

Read about Plato on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Read about Plato on Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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 Listen to Angie Hobbs say why you should vote for Plato

Angie Hobbs

Angie Hobbs is Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Warwick. She specialises in Platonic ethics and moral psychology concerned with value conflicts, and whether it is possible or desirable to resolve them. The relationship between the individual, culture and the state is also central to her work. It is a major part of her thinking to compare ancient approaches to those of more modern thinking. She has written a number of books including Plato and the Hero: Personal Glory and the Impersonal Good (2000).

 
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