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It is believed that Plato traveled then for many years, in Italy, Sicily, and Egypt, and then returned to Athens at the age of 40 to found the Academy — the earliest known institution for higher learning in the Western World. One of their leaders, Critas was also a student of Socrates, and according to Plato, a bad man—and one of the reasons Socrates might have been suspected of anti-Athenian associations.

We have many more complete and authentic works from Plato than any other western philosopher of the era — thirty-five dialogues and thirteen letters according to the usual count, although the authenticity of a few may be disputed. They are normally grouped chronologically although the dating is uncertain :.

The chronological approach, although disputed, makes sense because the divisions mark significant changes in style and content. Plato himself is not represented in any of the dialogues, and there is no indication that he heard them first-hand, except for The Apology , which includes the record of Socrates self-defense at his trial. Socrates believed that our physical senses blind us to truth.

Scholars are unsure how many forms Plato believed in; early works seem to reserve the forms for archetypal ideas, such as Good, Truth, Beauty, etc.

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Those who leave the cave and see the light — rare philosophers — are neither understood nor believed by the rest of humanity. Plato believed that personal love could perhaps fuel the passion necessary to enter that altered state of consciousness wherein a person has direct experience of the divine, but not through sexual activity, which he regarded as a waste of that energy and its potential to uplift the mind. He also considered these three to correspond to three aspects of the human soul.

Most qualities of his ideal state are justified by the idea that the best society depends on citizens with the best qualities. Music and poetry were to be forbidden as they excite the senses, leading to immorality and delusion. There were to be eugenic breeding programs employing police force and to ensure cooperation. Plato seems to have been most influenced by Socrates, Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans , Parmenides, and Heraclitus; much that we know of these philosophers comes through Plato himself. He was deeply affected by the city's treatment of Socrates, and much of his early work records his memories of his teacher.

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It is suggested that much of his ethical writing is in pursuit of a society where similar injustices could not occur. During the twelve years following the death of Socrates, he traveled extensively in Italy, Sicily, Egypt, and Cyrene in a quest for knowledge. After his return to Athens at the age of 40, Plato founded one of the earliest known organized schools in Western civilization on a plot of land in the Grove of Academe.

The Academy was "a large enclosure of ground which was once the property of a citizen at Athens named Academus I i 16 , and it operated until AD , when it was closed by Justinian I of Byzantium, who saw it as a threat to the propagation of Christianity. Many intellectuals were schooled in the Academy, the most prominent one being Aristotle. Plato was also deeply influenced by a number of prior philosophers, including: the Pythagoreans, whose notions of numerical harmony have clear echoes in Plato's notion of the Forms; Anaxagoras, who taught Socrates and who held that the mind, or reason, pervades everything; and Parmenides , who argued for the unity of all things and may have influenced Plato's concept of the soul.

Unlike Socrates, Plato wrote down his philosophical views, leaving behind a considerable number of manuscripts. In Plato's writings are debates concerning the best possible form of government, featuring adherents of aristocracy, democracy, monarchy as well as other issues. A central theme is the conflict between nature and convention, concerning the role of heredity and the environment on human intelligence and personality long before the modern "nature versus nurture" debate began in the time of Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, with its modern continuation in such controversial works as The Mismeasure of Man and The Bell Curve.

Another key distinction and theme in the Platonic corpus is the dichotomy between knowledge and opinion, which foreshadow modern debates between David Hume and Immanuel Kant, and has been taken up by postmodernists and their opponents, more commonly as the distinction between the 'objective' and the 'subjective'.

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Even the story of the lost city or continent of Atlantis came to us as an illustrative story told by Plato in his Timaeus and Critias. Plato wrote mainly in the form known as dialogue. In the early dialogues, several characters discuss a topic by asking questions of one another. The nature of these dialogues changed a great deal over the course of Plato's life. It is generally agreed that Plato's earlier works are more closely based on Socrates' thought, whereas his later writing increasingly breaks away from the views of his former teacher.

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In the middle dialogues, Socrates becomes a mouthpiece for Plato's own philosophy, and the question-and-answer style is more pro forma: the main figure represents Plato and the minor characters have little to say except "yes", "of course" and "very true". The late dialogues read more like treatises, and Socrates is often absent or quiet.

It is assumed that while some of the early dialogues could be based on Socrates' actual conversations, the later dialogues were written entirely by Plato. The question of which, if any, of the dialogues are truly Socratic is known as the Socratic problem. The dialogue format also allows Plato to put unpopular opinions in the mouth of unsympathetic characters, such as Thrasymachus in The Republic.

Platonism has traditionally been interpreted as a form of metaphysical dualism, sometimes referred to as Platonic or Exaggerated Realism. According to this reading, Plato's metaphysics divides the world into two distinct aspects: the intelligible world of "forms", and the perceptual world we see around us.

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The perceptual world consists of imperfect copies of the intelligible forms or ideas. These forms are unchangeable and perfect, and are only comprehensible by the use of the intellect or understanding—i. This division can also be found in Zoroastrian philosophy, in which the dichotomy is referenced as the Minu intelligence and Giti perceptual worlds. The Zoroastrian ideal city, Shahrivar, also exhibits certain similarities with Plato's Republic.

The existence and direction of influence here is uncertain; while Zoroaster lived well before Plato, few of the earliest writings of Zoroastrianism survive unaltered.


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In the Republic Books VI and VII, Plato uses a number of metaphors to explain his metaphysical views: the metaphor of the sun, the well-known allegory of the cave, and most explicitly, the divided line. Taken together, these metaphors convey a complex, and, in places, difficult theory: there is something called The Form of the Good often interpreted as Plato's God , which is the ultimate object of knowledge and which, as it were, sheds light on all the other forms i.


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The Form of the Good does this in somewhat the same way as the sun sheds light on, or makes visible and "generates" things, in the perceptual world. See Plato's metaphor of the sun In the perceptual world, the particular objects we see around us bear only a dim resemblance to the more ultimately real forms of Plato's intelligible world; it is as if we are seeing shadows of cut-out shapes on the walls of a cave, which are mere representations of the reality outside the cave, illuminated by the sun. See Plato's allegory of the cave We can imagine everything in the universe represented on a line of increasing reality; it is divided once in the middle, and then once again in each of the resulting parts.


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  8. To date, more than political parties have been legalised. Despite these victories, the President of the Republic has always chosen to form inclusive governments.

    The Republic with Biographical Introduction

    In the book, the Head of State announced the advent of the multiparty system which became effective in after the interim period of the one-party system. He explained his option for economic liberalism and private initiative while advocating national solidarity, equitable sharing of the fruits of economic growth, social justice, the emergence of a culture based on creativity and the peaceful coexistence of values specific to the various communities that make up the Nation. Lastly, he reaffirmed the need to modernize the State and maintain cooperation ties with other countries of the world.