Plato of Athens

The root of all greatness flourishes not in earth but in heavenly realms whence it is fed of supernal Light. Without that Light, no embodied soul can overcome the gravity of appetitive needs and rise to stand aloft, on the shoulders of the giants gone before him and see the spiritual truth of reality.

Plato understood this. He stood on the shoulders of such great men as Pythagoras and of Socrates to see farther and more clearly than others of his time and of all time, and to comment and explicate the spiritual truths to which he became privy.

The safest general characterisation of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato

Plato was much more than Socrates' successor, for without him, we would know very little of Socrates' intellectual legacy. Plato was the father of Idealism, and founded the Academy in Athens in 387 B.C., which lasted in various forms until the emperor Justinian closed it in 529 AD. Alfred North Whitehead said, "The safest general characterisation of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato."

Isaiah di Trani the Elder, a brilliant Jewish Talmudist of the 13th Century wrote of Plato's clear vision of reality:[1]

"I applied to myself the parable of the philosophers. For I heard the following from the philosophers. The wisest of the philosophers asked: 'We admit that our predecessors were wiser than we. At the same time we criticize their comments, often rejecting them and claiming that the truth rests with us. How is this possible?' The wise philosopher responded: 'Who sees further a dwarf or a giant? Surely a giant for his eyes are situated at a higher level than those of the dwarf. But if the dwarf is placed on the shoulders of the giant who sees further? … So too we are dwarfs astride the shoulders of giants. We master their wisdom and move beyond it. Due to their wisdom we grow wise and are able to say all that we say, but not because we are greater than they.' "


Plato's Works: A presentation of insights and commentaries on Plato's Dialogues.
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Plato: For biographical information on Plato, we have drawn upon A. E. Taylor's meticulously researched and insightful biography, Plato.
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Plato: The Man and His Work: A. E. Taylor, author of this brilliant exposition, considered Platonism to be the most original and influential of all philosophies.
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Platonism and Its Influence: A. E. Taylor chronicled the astonishing and pervasive influence of Plato's philosphy on Western life and religion.
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Plato, the Philosopher: In Representative Men: Seven Lectures, Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882) examined the lives and achievements of certain great men of history, beginning with Plato of Athens.
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Evidence of Plato's Effect on Western Thought: From the philosophers and religionists to the physicists and cosmologists, Plato's philosphy has profoundly affected Western life and religion. The scholar may be conscious of this, but even the illiterate or uneducated is subject to its effect.
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Platonic Idealism: Plato was the father of Idealism with his doctrine of Ideas, also called Forms. His ideas have always found favor among mystics and those who seek to know God through His First Principles. In the Ideas, you find the Ideals. Everything you can perceive is authored by God's universal, absolute, or transcendent mind.
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The Great Truths in Plato's Dialogues: Plato was the father of Idealism with his doctrine of Ideas, also called Forms. His ideas have always found favor among mystics and those who seek to know God through His First Principles. In the Ideas, you find the Ideals. Everything you can perceive is authored by God's universal, absolute, or transcendent mind.
» Coming soon »

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Footnotes

1^ Di Trani, Isaiah. "Dwarfs on the Shoulders of Giants". Shnayer Z. Leiman, Tradition, 27:3. The Rabbinical Council, 1993.



Plato of Athens
428 – 348 BC
Greek philosopher and the
Father of Idealism

Edna Lister


References

Kraut, Richard, "Plato", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Spring 2015, Edward N. Zalta, ed. [Retrieved September 23, 2017].

Laertius, Diogenes. "Plato" in Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers. Robert Drew Hicks, trans. London: Heinemann, 1926 [Retrieved September 23, 2017].

Laertius, Diogenes. "Plato" in Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, C. D. Yonge, trans. London: H.C. Bohn, 1853 [Retrieved September 23, 2017].

O'Connor, J.J. and Robertson, "Plato", The MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of St Andrews, Scotland, 1999 [Retrieved April 29, 2015].

O'Connor, J.J. and Robertson, E. F. Mathematical Quotations by Plato, The MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of St Andrews, Scotland, 1999 [Retrieved February 19, 2011].

"Plato", Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. [Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 2015. Retrieved January 23, 2015.]

Taylor, Robert. The Diegesis: Being a Discovery of the Origin, Evidences, and Early History of Christianity. London: R. Carlile and J. Brooks, 1829.


Recommended Reading

Karderas, Nicholas, PhD. "The Greek Miracle: How Plato Can Save Your Life". [Psychology Today Online. Retrieved April 29, 2015.]

Wolfe, Alexandra. “What Would Plato Say? Rebecca Newberger Goldstein on Philosophy”. [Wall Street Journal, April 4, 2014; retrieved April 29, 2015.]


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