Cratylus

Front Cover
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, Nov 27, 2015 - 116 pages
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To say Socrates was an influence on Plato would be a vast understatement; historians today still struggle to distinguish Socrates' philosophical beliefs from Plato's, because much of Plato's writings consisted of "Socratic dialogues," in which the main character, Socrates, discusses the topic of the writing with his followers.  Yet for all of the influence of Socrates' life on Plato, it was Socrates' death around 399 B.C. that truly shaped him.  Plato was so embittered by Socrates' trial in Athens that he completely soured on Athenian democracy, and he began to travel around the Mediterranean, studying topics like mathematics, honing his approach to philosophical thinking, and continuing to refine his philosophical beliefs. About a decade later, Plato returned to Athens and founded his famous Platonic Academy around 387 B.C., which he oversaw for 40 years until his death.  One of Plato's philosophical beliefs was that writing down teachings was less valuable than passing them down orally, and several of Plato's writings are responses to previous writings of his, so Plato's personally held beliefs are hard to discern.  However, Plato educated several subsequent philosophers, chief among them Aristotle, and his writings eventually formed the backbone of Western philosophy.
In this dialogue, Socrates referees a dispute about the etymological origin or words and names.

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About the author (2015)

Plato was born c. 427 B.C. in Athens, Greece, to an aristocratic family very much involved in political government. Pericles, famous ruler of Athens during its golden age, was Plato's stepfather. Plato was well educated and studied under Socrates, with whom he developed a close friendship. When Socrates was publically executed in 399 B.C., Plato finally distanced himself from a career in Athenian politics, instead becoming one of the greatest philosophers of Western civilization. Plato extended Socrates's inquiries to his students, one of the most famous being Aristotle. Plato's The Republic is an enduring work, discussing justice, the importance of education, and the qualities needed for rulers to succeed. Plato felt governors must be philosophers so they may govern wisely and effectively. Plato founded the Academy, an educational institution dedicated to pursuing philosophic truth. The Academy lasted well into the 6th century A.D., and is the model for all western universities. Its formation is along the lines Plato laid out in The Republic. Many of Plato's essays and writings survive to this day. Plato died in 347 B.C. at the age of 80.

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