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Plato a Greek philosopher was among the most important and creative thinkers of the ancient world He was born in Athens in 428 BC to an aristocratic and well-off family Even as a young child Plato was familiar with political life because hes father Ariston was the last king of Athens Ariston died when Plato was a young boy However the excessive Athenian political life which was under the oligarchical rule of the Thirty Tyrants and the restored democracy seem to have forced him to give up any ambitions of political life In 388 BC he journeyed to Italy and Sicily where he became the friend of Dionysius the ruler of Syracuse and his brother-in-law Dion The following year he returned to Athens where he devoted his time to research and instruction in philosophy and the sciences Most of his life thereafter was spent in teaching and guiding these activities In 347 BC Plato died while hes published writings all still live They consist of some 26 dramatic dialogues on philosophy and related themes The philosopher Socrates was a close friend of Platos family as well as his teacher Platos writings attest to great influence on him This could be a good explanation to why Plato uses Socrates to voice his own opinions about his Ideal State Book I of Platos Republic beings with Socrates Cephalus Polemarchus and Thrasymachus discussing justice Each give their own meaning of justice or dikaiosyne Cephalus says justice is truth telling and debt paying He views justice this way because he is an honest and just businessman Polemarchus who is Cephaluss son agrees with Cephaluss definition but continues by saying justice is giving each his own due By this he means helping ones friend Finally Thrasymachus who is a sophist defines justice as the advantage of the stronger Justice is not to the advantage of everyone but to the advantage of the rulers Socrates proves
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