8.27 Plato

Plato was a Greek philosopher who lived from about 428 to 347 BC. He founded the Academy, which was the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. He was taught by Socrates, and he taught Aristotle. His thinking had profound impacts on Western religion, spirituality, and philosophy. Much of what we know about Pythagoras, Heraclitus, and Parmenides was derived from the works of Plato. These works mark a turning point in the history of philosophy, as one of the first significant philosophical bodies of work to survive intact to this day. Plato taught of immutable, timeless, changeless, and ‘one over many’ Forms, or predicates, existing outside of Space and Time, which are Instantiated, or shared in to various degrees, by the continuously transforming material world as we perceive it.

He was careful to differentiate opinion, from Perceived Reality, from the true underlying Reality, Wisdom, and Knowledge present in eternal, non-experiential form and non-propositional form, and revealed by divine insight.

He taught that the basis of moral and social obligation was the fundamental individual Responsibility to seek Wisdom, which leads to Understanding, which reveals Knowledge of the Form of the Good, which must be applied in order to fulfill one's moral, political, and social function in society, so that Justice can be obtained.

He argued that Justice and rest from Evil would only result when philosophy and political power entirely coincide, such as in the form of a philosopher king.

Wisdom is Knowledge of the Good, or Right Relationship among All. The philosopher king loves Wisdom, and has the Courage to act in Integrity and Coherence with Wisdom as it is revealed.

Plato identified the Good with the fundamental ontological principle that is the One. The One is the cause of the Forms, the Forms are the cause of the Essence or Spirit in All things. In addition to his focus on philosophy related to Logos, he used extensive Mythos to appeal to those attracted to stories and tales over reasoned philosophical discourse.

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