Life and Philosophy: Plato and Descartes Analytical Essay

Life and Philosophy: Plato and Descartes
A look at the the life of Plato and Descartes.
# 151968 | 3,240 words | 5 sources | APA | 2010 | US
Published on Oct 31, 2012 in Philosophy (Ancient Greek) , Philosophy (History) , History (General)

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This paper examines the individual lives and philosophical theories of Plato and Rene Descartes. It also offers a close look at the philosophers' biographies and influences, explaining how their ideas of knowledge, reason and science changed the way we look at the world.

Life and Philosophy: Plato and Descartes

From the Paper:

''An examination of Plato's biography gives insight into the man who would help change the field of philosophy and political thought. He was born around the year 428 B.C.E. in Athens, Greece. His father died while Plato was young, and his mother eventually remarried a man named Pyrilampes. Plato's birth name was Aristocles, but he became known by the nickname Platon, meaning broad, because of his large and physically imposing build. His family had a history in politics, and encouraged his place in the world of government and political thought. Plato enjoyed the process of learning and studied at a renowned gymnasium at the palaistra of Ariston of Argos. When he was young he studied a variety of subjects, such as music and poetry. According to Aristotle, Plato developed the basis of his metaphysics and epistemology training by studying the doctrines of Cratylus, and the works of Pythagoras and Parmenides. When Plato met Socrates, however, he had found his definitive teacher and role model. As Socrates' disciple, Plato took on his philosophy and style of debate as his own, and formulated his studies and intellectual goals toward the question of virtue and the development of a noble character (Ritchie 1902, p. 41).
''Plato served in the military from 409 BC to 404 BC. When the Peloponnesian War ended in 404 BC he joined the Athenian oligarchy of the Thirty Tyrants, where his uncle Charmides operated as one of the leaders. The violence of this group quickly prompted Plato to move away from its practices. When democracy was restored in Athens in 403 BC, he had high hopes of pursuing a political career. One event had a profound effect on Plato: Socrates' execution in 399 BC was perhaps the determining event that would convince him to leave Athenian politics forever (Hall 1981, p. 23).''

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Clarke, Desmond M. (2006). Descartes: a biography. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Gaukroger, Stephen (1995). Descartes: an intellectual biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Hall, Robert W. (1981). Political thinkers vol. ix plato. New York: Routledge.
  • Ritchie, David George (1902). Plato. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.
  • Schultz, Alexander (2009). Mind's world: imagination and subjectivity from descartes to romanticism. Seattle: University of Washington Press.

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