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Plato’s best (and worst) ideas - Wisecrack

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Few individuals have influenced the world and many of today’s thinkers like Plato. He created the first Western university and was teacher to Ancient Greece’s greatest minds, including Aristotle. But even he wasn’t perfect. Along with his great ideas, Plato had a few that haven’t exactly stood the test of time. Wisecrack gives a brief rundown of a few of Plato’s best and worst ideas.

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TED-Ed Original lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed original? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Wisecrack
  • Collaborator Alec Opperman, Mia Wood
  • Director M.R. Horhager
  • Producer M.R. Horhager
  • Storyboard Artist M.R. Horhager
  • Art Director Aaron Hong
  • Designer Aaron Hong
  • Senior Animator Thomas Twolan
  • Animator Raymond Lefebvre
  • Editor Sam Thomson
  • Sound Designer Weston Fonger
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

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Additional Resources for you to Explore
Want to learn more about Plato? Check out this introduction to Plato. Want to learn more about Plato’s Forms and their relation to our world of everyday objects? Alex Gendler discusses this topic and more for TED-Ed in his treatment of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. You can also watch The School of Life’s discussion of Plato’s Forms and his Allegory of the Cave.

For more on Plato’s theories of justice and the ideal society, watch an introduction to Plato’s Republic by Yale political science professor, Steven B. Smith. Steve Schwartz provides a summary of Books V-VII of Plato’s Republic, which helps the reader understand the connection between knowledge, the Forms, and the ideal state. For a focused discussion of Plato’s division of social classes, watch Professor Smith’s lecture on philosophers and kings.

If you want to read Plato’s Republic, both M.I.T. and Tufts University offer free e-versions of the text. Tufts offers the original Greek as well, along with annotations. David Macintosh offers a clear introduction to Plato’s theory of Forms in the magazine, Philosophy Now. You can also read Plato’s own account of the forms in his dialogue, Phaedo. A robust but accessible discussion of Plato’s views of women can be found on the Classics Network.

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About TED-Ed Originals

TED-Ed Original lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed original? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Wisecrack
  • Collaborator Alec Opperman, Mia Wood
  • Director M.R. Horhager
  • Producer M.R. Horhager
  • Storyboard Artist M.R. Horhager
  • Art Director Aaron Hong
  • Designer Aaron Hong
  • Senior Animator Thomas Twolan
  • Animator Raymond Lefebvre
  • Editor Sam Thomson
  • Sound Designer Weston Fonger
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

Share

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