“Be kind, for everyone you meet is

fighting a hard battle.”

–Plato,427-347BC

Plato was amongst the earliest contributors to the development of the Western philosophy. Unlike his philosophical contemporaries, his work is believed to have survived for over 2,400 years. He was a student of the famous Greek philosopher, Socrates, whose influence had a profound impact on his works leading him to write his two most famous dialogues: Republic and Laws. Hence, Plato is credited as being the innovator of the written dialogue and the dialectic forms that are widely used in literature and plays in the modern era. In his dialogues, he adopted a very philosophical approach to answer the political questions of the time by blending the concepts of political philosophy, ethics, moral psychology, epistemology and metaphysics. He was also the founder of the Western world’s first institution of higher learning, the Academy of Athens. In his psychological works, Plato states that the human soul comprises of a rational part, a spirited part and an appetitive part. The rational part was the truth-loving part, which should rule over the other parts of the soul. It used logic and reasoning rather to prevent the person from blindly following the heart. The spirited part looked for honour and victory while the appetitive part had to do with humanly desires like food and reproduction. Thus, Plato believed, that for an individual to remain physically and mentally healthy, he needs to maintain a balance between the three parts of the soul. Moral weakness occurred when a person let the appetitive part dominate the others. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy describes Plato as “...one of the most dazzling writers in the Western literary tradition and one of the most penetrating, wide-ranging, and influential authors in the history of philosophy”.