Skip to main content
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 1
  • Cited by
    This (lowercase (translateProductType product.productType)) has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Horn, Christoph Müller, Jörn Söder, Joachim Schriefl, Anna and Weber, Simon 2009. Platon-Handbuch. p. 61.

  • Print publication year: 1992
  • Online publication date: May 2006

2 - Plato



We lack the materials for a proper biography of Plato. He hardly refers to himself at all in the dialogues. The ancient “Lives” are infected by gossip, legend, and fiction and the ostensibly autobiographical Seventh Letter is probably spurious. Fortunately, however, Aristotle provides us with important evidence on Plato's intellectual development. He says that Plato was first influenced by Cratylus the Heraclitean, and later by Socrates (Met. 987a32-bio). It is unlikely that Aristotle derived his claim about Craytlus from reading Plato's dialogues; he probably had some independent source. And since he was probably well informed about Socrates and Plato, his statement deserves to be taken seriously.

Aristotle implies that Plato is influenced both by the older, “pre-Socratic” tradition of the “naturalists“ (phusiologoi; cf. Aristotle, De Caelo 289b25-9) and by the more recent application of philosophy to moral and political questions. What, then, did Plato find when he looked at these two movements in Greek philosophy?

Recommend this book

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

The Cambridge Companion to Plato
  • Online ISBN: 9781139000574
  • Book DOI:
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to *