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According to doubtful stories from later antiquity, Dionysius became annoyed with Plato at some point during this visit, and arranged to have the philosopher sold into slavery (Diod. His uncle/brother-in-law Dion persuaded the young tyrant to invite Plato to come to help him become a philosopher-ruler of the sort described in the 338a-b). Dion accepted the condition and encouraged Plato to go immediately anyway ( 339a-b and next section) on board begging Plato to return to Syracuse.Dion and Plato stayed in Athens for the next four years (c. Partly because of his friend Dion's enthusiasm for the plan, Plato departed one more time to Syracuse.
These works blend ethics, political philosophy, moral psychology, epistemology, and metaphysics into an interconnected and systematic philosophy.
It is most of all from Plato that we get the theory of Forms, according to which the world we know through the senses is only an imitation of the pure, eternal, and unchanging world of the Forms. Plato came from one of the wealthiest and most politically active families in Athens.
Once again, however, things in Syracuse were not at all to Plato's liking.
Dionysius once again effectively imprisoned Plato in Syracuse, and the latter was only able to escape again with help from his Tarentine friends ( 350a-b).
The best reports of these orderings (see Diogenes Laertius' discussion at 3.56-62) included many works whose authenticity is now either disputed or unanimously rejected.
The uncontroversial internal and external historical evidence for a chronological ordering is relatively slight.Regarding the sensibles, he borrows from Heraclitus; regarding the intelligibles, from Pythagoras; and regarding politics, from Socrates. Diogenes Laertius (3.6) claims that Plato visited several Pythagoreans in Southern Italy (one of whom, Theodorus, is also mentioned as a friend to Socrates in Plato's Plato has Echecrates, another Pythagorean, in the group around Socrates on his final day in prison.Plato's Pythagorean influences seem especially evident in his fascination with mathematics, and in some of his political ideals (see Plato's political philosophy), expressed in various ways in several dialogues.Dion subsequently gathered an army of mercenaries and invaded his own homeland.But his success was short-lived: he was assassinated and Sicily was reduced to chaos. The effects of this influence can perhaps be seen in the mature Plato's conception of the sensible world as ceaselessly changing.Others, including Alexamenos of Teos (Aristotle passim), Simon (D. Such a claim, at any rate, is hardly established simply by the existence of these other writers and their writings.We may still wish to ask whether Plato's own use of Socrates as his main character has anything at all to do with the historical Socrates.Plato is one of the world's best known and most widely read and studied philosophers. There are varying degrees of controversy over which of Plato's works are authentic, and in what order they were written, due to their antiquity and the manner of their preservation through time.He was the student of Socrates and the teacher of Aristotle, and he wrote in the middle of the fourth century B. Nonetheless, his earliest works are generally regarded as the most reliable of the ancient sources on Socrates, and the character Socrates that we know through these writings is considered to be one of the greatest of the ancient philosophers.Later (at 3.6), Diogenes says that Plato was twenty-eight when Socrates was put to death (in 399), which would, again, put his year of birth at 427. Both sides of the family claimed to trace their ancestry back to Poseidon (D. We can be confident that Plato also had two older brothers, Glaucon and Adeimantus, and a sister, Potone, by the same parents (see D. "Plato" seems to have started as a nickname (for or "broad"), perhaps first given to him by his wrestling teacher for his physique, or for the breadth of his style, or even the breadth of his forehead (all given in D. Plato occasionally mentions Egypt in his works, but not in ways that reveal much of any consequence (see, for examples, According to the account given there, Plato first went to Italy and Sicily when he was "about forty" (324a). (This is where we get our word, "academic." The Academy got its name from its location, a grove of trees sacred to the hero Academus—or Hecademus [see D. 3.7]—a mile or so outside the Athenian walls; the site can still be visited in modern Athens, but visitors will find it depressingly void of interesting monuments or features.) Except for two more trips to Sicily, the Academy seems to have been Plato's home base for the remainder of his life.In spite of the confusion, the dates of Plato's life we gave above, which are based upon Eratosthenes' calculations, have traditionally been accepted as accurate. According to Diogenes, whose testimony is notoriously unreliable, Plato's parents were Ariston and Perictione (or Potone—see D. While he stayed in Syracuse, he became the instructor to Dion, brother-in-law of the tyrant Dionysius I. The first of Plato's remaining two Sicilian adventures came after Dionysius I died and his young son, Dionysius II, ascended to the throne. Dionysius then summoned Plato, but wished for Dion to wait a while longer.