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Almost everyone has heard of the two great philosophers Plato and Aristotle Few people though know much about their life long achievements Their own personal beliefs and philosophies In order to understand them we must fist examine the background of the two philosophers Plato was born to an aristocratic family in Athens When Plato was a child his father died and his mother married Pyrilampes who was an associate of the statesman Pericles As a young individual Plato had political ambitions but he became disillusioned by the political leadership in Athens He eventually became a disciple of Socrates Socrates spent his time talking to people about ethical topics He hoped by this means to discover definitions of the virtues thinking that in learning what virtue is he would become virtuous and that this would make his life a happy one He also hoped to expose other peoples false conceit of knowledge about ethical matters thinking that such conceit prevented them from becoming virtuous and happy Socrates appealed to some people but he repelled many others he also came to be associated in the public mind with anti-democratic factions in Athens In 399 BC Socrates was tried on a charge of impiety convicted and put to death Plato wit nessed the death of Socrates at the hands of the Athenian democracy in 399 BC By accepting Socrates basic philosophy and dialectical style of debate the pursuit of truth through questions answers and additional questions In 387 Plato founded the Academy in Athens the institution often described as the first European university It provided a comprehensive curriculum including such subjects as astronomy biology mathematics political theory and philosophy Aristotle was the Academys most prominent student During his life time he had wrote many books towards philosophy however The Republic is the one of more important work in the history of European thought In essence it deals with the central problem of how to
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