Tuesday, September 30, 2008


The Greek philosopher Plato is the last in the triumvirate of historical figures whom Paul Newman portrayed on 'You Are There'.......

Plato (428/427 BC – 348/347 BC), was a Classical Greek philosopher, who, together with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, helped to lay the foundations of Western philosophy. Plato was also a mathematician, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the western world. Plato was originally a student of Socrates, and was as much influenced by his thinking as by what he saw as his teacher's unjust death.

Plato's sophistication as a writer can be witnessed by reading his Socratic dialogues. Some of the dialogues, letters, and other works that are ascribed to him are considered spurious. Although there is little question that Plato lectured at the Academy that he founded, the pedagogical function of his dialogues, if any, is not known with certainty. The dialogues since Plato's time have been used to teach a range of subjects, mostly including philosophy, logic, rhetoric, mathematics, and other subjects about which he wrote.

The trial of Socrates is the central, unifying event of the great Platonic dialogues. Because of this, Plato's
Apology is perhaps the most often read of the dialogues. In the Apology, Socrates tries to dismiss rumors that he is a sophist and defends himself against charges of disbelief in the gods and corruption of the young. Socrates insists that long-standing slander will be the real cause of his demise, and says the legal charges are essentially false. Socrates famously denies being wise, and explains how his life as a philosopher was launched by the oracle at Delphi. He says that his quest to resolve the riddle of the oracle put him at odds with his fellow man, and that this is the reason he has been mistaken for a menace to the city-state of Athens.

Here's an interesting look at the Cult of Plato.....

Aliens from another world came to Earth and were caught up by the teachings of Plato, which they took with them when they departed the planet. However, by the time the crew of the starship Enterprise met those same beings thousands of years later (in the 'Star Trek' episode "Plato's Stepchildren"), those values had been corrupted by their long-lived petty cruelties.

Others who have played Plato in Toobworld are Peter Needham in "The Apple", an episode of 'Hercules: The Legendary Journeys', and J.G. Hertzler in the "Double Time" episode of 'Sabrina The Teenage Witch'.

Toby O'B

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