Among the famous group of Greek philosophers who determined the future of Western philosophy and science, Plato is one of the most prominent thinkers. Among Plato’s achievements there are impressive philosophical dialogues, powerful contributions to logic, mathematics, ethics, politics and, naturally, philosophy (Ritter, 2007). Plato also was the creator of the first educational institution – Athens’ Academy. His philosophical works were expressed as dialogues, and his deepest works were “The Republic” and “The Laws” (Scott, 2007). Although the majority of current researchers view “The Republic” primarily as a historical material which cannot be applied in the modern society, it is not exactly true.
The ideas placed in the foundations of “The Republic” and Plato’s followers have incorporated some of the virtues and concepts described in “The Republic” into existing philosophic and political models. The combination of politics and ethics, forms of constitution and forms of rule, differentiation of roles and virtues common to different social classes as well as the role and functions of education – all these concepts were created and analyzed by Plato (Purshouse, 2006). Although his ideas are not exactly compatible with the existing world order, there are many elements of social organization which were already incorporated into the society (Griggs, 2003), and there are certain elements which should be incorporated into the existing social order in order to maintain social balance.
Plato is not only the “father” of modern philosophy as a science, but also the creator of many political and ethical concepts which have integrated into the society and lived up to nowadays. His works should not be viewed as the source of purely past views, since from many perspectives his ideas and beliefs can be quite useful nowadays. This statement is especially true with regard to “The Republic” – Plato’s fundamental work.
Plato’s work – “The Republic” – has affected social life in Ancient Greece and laid cornerstones of political and ethical thought which have to a certain extent shaped the modern society. Particular features of different forms of government, implementation of justice within the social structure and the development of social specialization are all rooted in Plato’s times. Such notions as virtues which should be common to different specializations and the incorporation of ethics into political regulations strongly deserve attention nowadays. Plato also pointed out to the ineffectiveness of pure democracy, and currently it is possible to see that elements of his “Republic” have emerged in the effective political systems. These facts further stress the need to study Plato’s ideal social concepts closer and possibly to adopt certain solutions and thoughts in order to improve existing sociopolitical environment.
Griggs, E.H. (2003). Philosophy of Plato and Its Relation to Modern Life. Kessinger Publishing.
Purshouse, L. (2006). Plato’s Republic: a reader’s guide. Continuum International Publishing Group.
Ritter, C. (2007). The Essence of Plato’s Philosophy. Lightning Source Inc.
Scott, G.A. (2007). Philosophy in dialogue: Plato’s many devices. Northwestern University Press.