Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Who is this?

Plato, whose real name is believed to be Aristocles, was an immensely influential ancient Greek philosopher, a student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens where Aristotle studied.

Plato lectured extensively at the Academy, and wrote on many philosophical issues, dealing especially in politics, ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology. The most important writings of Plato are his dialogues, although a handful of epigrams also survived, and some letters have come down to us under his name. It is believed that all of Plato's authentic dialogues survive. However, some dialogues ascribed to Plato by the Greeks are now considered by the consensus of scholars to be either suspect (e.g., First Alcibiades, Clitophon) or probably spurious (such as Demodocus, or the Second Alcibiades). The letters are all considered to probably be spurious, with the possible exception of the Seventh Letter.