The Philosophers of Ancient Greece

By: Sarah and Damian

Plato

Plato was one of Socrates' students. He was wealthy and politically active. He was both a teacher and a philosopher. He created a school, the Academy, where students, philosophers and scientists could come together and discuss ideas.

Plato spent most of his time running his Academy, but he also had time to write many works. One of his most famous was called the Republic. The Republic describes Plato's idea of an ideal society. This society would give justice and fairness to everyone. To ensure that everyone gets fairness, Plato argued, society should be run by philosophers. He believed that the philosophers would know what is best for them.

Plato died in 478 B.C at the age of 81, but during 404 B.C. he overthrew the Athenian democracy.

Socrates

Socrates was a was among one of the greatest thinkers. He started his life receiving a basic Greek education and learning from his father. Socrates worked as a mason for many years before devoting his life to philosophy. He believed that people should never stop looking for knowledge. Socrates also taught by asking questions. His questions were about human qualities such as love and courage. When others would answer his questions, he'd challenge them with more questions.

Socrates wanted them to question their own beliefs. He had instead made people angry, and even frightened. They accused him of questioning the authority of the gods. For this, Socrates was arrested and condemned to death. His friends and students watched him calmly accept his death. When Socrates was given the poison, he drank it and died.

Aristotle

Aristotle, Plato's student and perhaps the greatest thinker, believed that people should live lives of moderation, or balance. For example, people should neither be greedy or give all their belongings away, but instead find balance between the two.

Aristotle believed that people should use reason to govern their lives. In other words, people should thoroughly think of their own actions and how it could affect others' lives.

Aristotle made great advances in the field of logic. He was confident that you could use the facts you know to figure out new facts. Aristotle's ideas about logic helped inspire later Greek scientists.