字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント The Greek philosopher Plato was a student of Socrates, and teacher of Aristotle. He wrote on a wide variety of topics including Politics, Aesthetics, Cosmology, and Epistemology. To this day, we refer to “Platonic Love” and “Platonic Ideals.” Plato’s search for knowledge and truth formed the basis of much of Western Philosophy. Plato’s birthdate is disputed - some sources say around 428 BC, others claim 424 BC. In any case, it was a fortunate birth. Plato’s parents were both descended from Athenian nobility. Like other children from distinguished families in Athens, Plato received the best education of the day, studying philosophy, poetry, and gymnastics. Plato grew up during the Peloponnesian War, and as a young man saw the political chaos surrounding the final defeat of Athens by Sparta. Two of Plato’s relatives came to power in the new government, who were known as the Thirty Tyrants, and were notorious for denying Athenians their rights. The group ruled briefly until this despised oligarchy was overthrown and Athens returned to democracy in 403 BC. You might expect, given Plato’s prominent family connections, that he was destined to be a politician. Plato’s life took a different path, however, when he met the great teacher Socrates and was inspired by his philosophy of the pursuit of knowledge and virtue. It’s ironic, considering that Socrates was accused of corrupting the youth of Athens, including Plato. Socrates was unpopular with the Thirty Tyrants, as well as with the leaders of the newly restored democracy. In a grave miscarriage of justice, Socrates was found guilty of the trumped-up offenses and was sentenced to death. Plato tried to prevent his execution, offering to pay a fine to spare Socrates’ life. However, Socrates willingly went to his death. Plato was forever afterwards disgusted by politics and dedicated his life to the study of philosophy, like his teacher. Although Plato was famously taught by Socrates, he was also influenced by Pythagoras and others. After Socrates’ death, Plato left Athens and traveled for a dozen years, studying various subjects including mathematics with the Pythagoreans in Italy, and geometry and astronomy in Egypt. During these travels, Plato wrote his early Dialogues, which featured Socrates and his teachings. Since Socrates did not write any books of his own, these Dialogues represent one of the few pictures of the legendary philosopher and his style of discourse. Returning to Athens, Plato founded The Academy around 387 BC. The Academy is thought to be the first Western institution of higher learning. Here, one could attend open-air lectures in astronomy, biology, mathematics, politics, and philosophy. The Socratic Method was commonly used as the form of rational discussion, whereby a given hypothesis is examined by questioning. If these questions lead logically to a contradiction, a new candidate for truth must be adopted. Generations were educated at the Academy until it was destroyed in 86 BC when Athens was conquered by the Romans during the First Mithridatic War. The Academy was revived in the early 5th century by Neoplatonists, who saw themselves as successors to Plato. In 529, Emperor Justinian I of Byzantium closed The Academy once and for all. He saw it as a threat to Christianity. While Plato taught at the Academy, he continued to write. He amassed 35 Dialogues and 13 Letters (known as Epistles), although the authenticity of some of these works has been called into question. Although he was reluctant to write about himself, several of Plato’s family members appear in these works. Most historians consider this a sign of Plato’s pride in his distinguished family. The order in which Plato’s works were written is not known for certain, although some rough grouping is traditionally done by historians as follows: The earliest dialogues, including the Apology and Crito, presented the teachings of Socrates. Later dialogues, such as The Republic and The Symposium, introduce Plato’s Theory of Forms and the relationship between the soul, the state, and the cosmos. Finally, his most mature works are grouped together because they are considered stylistically similar. These include The Laws and Timaeus, and address such topics as law, mathematics, and natural science. The Theory of Forms is at the heart of Platonism - In Plato’s view, reality is unavailable to those who completely rely on their senses. He explained that every object that we could see or interact with in our experience of reality was actually just a mimic of a Form (capital F). For instance, we recognize a brick when we see it, even though every brick is a little bit different, because they are all reflections of some essential, true brick that is the real, Ideal brick. Plato argued that these Forms and other abstract ideas were more real than those things we could see and hear and touch. Universals, such as Justice, Beauty, and Equality are not accessible to the senses, but are understood only through reason. Plato’s view of the condition of humankind is perhaps best captured in his Allegory of the Cave as written in The Republic. The words of this parable are spoken by Socrates and Plato’s brother Glaucon, but it is considered to be Plato’s own ideology. Socrates describes to Glaucon a group of prisoners, chained for their entire lives in a cave, shackled in such a way that they can only look in front of them at one of the walls of the cave. Behind them is a fire, burning brightly. In between the fire and the prisoners is a platform, where objects are exhibited. The prisoners cannot see the reality of these objects, only the shadows they cast on the wall of the cave. If we rely solely on our senses, we are like the prisoners in the cave, who cannot sense the reality behind them, only the poor copies of the real world projected before them. The real word of Ideals can only perceived by reason. Hence the vital importance of the Academy. Plato spent his last years writing and teaching at the Academy. Undoubtedly we cannot know all of what Plato thought, especially since he preferred speaking to writing as a means of transmitting knowledge. According to the writings of his students, Plato had a set of Unwritten Doctrines which were taught only orally. Plato’s most famous student, Aristotle, came to study at the Academy in 367 BC and remained there for the next 20 years. He would go on to found his own academy, called the Lyceum, where he would carry on the great tradition of Plato and Socrates. Plato died around 348 BC, and is believed to be buried on the grounds of the Academy.