Plato (BC 427 ~ BC 347) [biography] Plato, an objective idealist philosopher in ancient Greece, was born in a noble family in Athens.
He was a student of a famous idealist philosopher in ancient Greece and a teacher of Aristotle.
Plato, formerly known as Aristotle, was called Plato because of his broad forehead and strong body, which means broad and magnificent in Greek.
His father Ariston is the descendant of the last king of Atticus, and his mother is the descendant of Solon, the founder of Athenian democracy.
Plato was well educated at an early age.
At the age of 20, he followed Socrates and became a believer of Socrates, so he embarked on the path of philosophy.
Plato studied with Socrates for eight years and deeply understood the true meaning of Socrates’ philosophy.
In 399 BC, after Socrates was executed for opposing the Athenian democracy, Plato fled Athens and hid in mecala.
After that, he visited Egypt, Curie, southern Italy, Sicily and other places for 12 years and met some natural scientists and mathematicians.
In 387 BC, Plato first visited Syrah ancient city state in Sicily, where he knew Dion and intended to use Dion’s special status to cultivate a “king of philosophy” in order to realize the ideal of transforming the country with philosophical thought, but failed.
After being forced to return to Athens, Plato founded an academic Park in “agademi” outside Athens to give lectures, which attracted many scholars from all over Greece, especially Aristotle.
After the death of Dionysius II, the tyrant of Syracuse, Plato went to Syracuse twice in 367 BC and 361 BC, but was involved in the political struggle between the new tyrant and Dion.
Plato devoted his whole life to academic research, lecturing and writing books.
In 347 BC, Plato died in his apartment at the age of 80.
Plato wrote a large number of works in his life, mainly including the Republic, the statesman and the law.
“Republic” represents his political thought in the middle period, while “politician” and “law” are his later works.
[influence] Plato was the first ancient Greek philosopher who left a large number of works.
He developed ancient Greek philosophy to the peak and established a huge objective idealist philosophical system with “theory of ideas” as the core.
Idealism is the ontology of Plato’s philosophy and the cornerstone of Plato’s philosophy.
Plato sought the origin of things outside the material world, opposed the rational world to the sensory world, and believed that the perceptual concrete things were not real existence, and there was an eternal and real “idea” (the Greek text meaning of “idea” was “the thing to be seen”) world outside the sensory world.
Idea is not subjective, but objective.
It is an entity that does not depend on people’s subjective consciousness.
In terms of the relationship between ideas and things, he believes that ideas are the only real existence and the reason for the existence of things.
And things are just the shadow of ideas and the product of ideas.
Here, Plato reversed the relationship between thought and reality, and described the dynamic reflection of thought on reality as the imitation of reality on thought.
His theory of idea has obvious purpose.
He puts forward that “the idea of good” is the highest and the sun of the idea world.
All beautiful things aim to achieve absolute beauty.
In Plato’s view, the essential attributes of things lie not only in their natural attributes, but also in their functions.
Corresponding to the opposition between the idea world and the feeling world in ontology, Plato opposed knowledge and opinion in epistemology, and established the epistemological system of idealistic transcendentalism.
Plato believes that knowledge is the understanding of ideas.
The object of knowledge is not the specific things that our senses touch, but the idea itself.
Opinion belongs to the category of feeling, and feeling can not provide reliable knowledge.
Only recognizing the idea is the real knowledge and the truth, and the feeling world is only the shadow of the idea.
He completely reversed the relationship between sensibility and rationality, practice and cognition, and made idealistic and mystical explanations for logical reasoning and inevitable knowledge.
But he is still a step ahead of “man is the yardstick of all things” and acknowledges that there is an objective and universally effective truth.
Moreover, Plato used the concept of “Dialectics” for the first time in the dialogue and raised it to the height of philosophy.
He believes that dialectics is the highest level of cognition, which can directly understand ideas without relying on assumptions.
This is the first time in the history of western philosophy that dialectics has been raised to such a position.
When demonstrating ideas, Plato involved the logical problems of concept, judgment and reasoning, and used logical skills such as induction, deduction and counter evidence to enrich the content of dialectics.
However, he combined dialectics with idealism and took the invariable and eternal idea as the starting point and destination of his philosophy, which made his dialectics have great limitations.
Social and political thought plays an important role in Plato’s philosophical system.
His political theory and philosophical theory are intertwined.
The former is the specific application of the latter, and the latter is the theoretical basis of the former.
His three trips to Sicily were a practice to realize his political ideal.
Plato’s political theory is more intensively reflected in the three dialogues of the Republic, the statesman and the law.
In the Republic, Plato designed a picture of a just state: the scale of the country is moderate, and the whole city-state is divided into three levels, namely, the level of rule, the level of guard (Warrior) and the level of labor with the largest number.
Rulers refer to a very small number of people trained in philosophy, who have supreme power in the “Republic”.
Statesmen rule the country with their own philosophical wisdom and moral strength, which Plato called “the king of philosophy”.
Warriors defend national security with loyalty and bravery, and assist the king of Philosophy in governing the country.
They regard “bravery” as their virtue.
Workers refer to farmers, handicraftsmen and businessmen.
They provide the country with material means of living and take “moderation” as the virtue.
The three levels perform their duties and keep their duties, so that the city-state can operate harmoniously.
Plato believed that this kind of “virtuous politics”, in which philosophers were kings, was the best political system.
In such a country, the rulers are respected philosophers, because only philosophers can understand ideas, have perfect virtue and superb wisdom, understand the place of justice, and govern the country under the guidance of rationality.
Neither rulers nor warriors have private property or families.
Workers are also not allowed to have luxury goods.