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Plato's school

Plato : Plato's school

Plato founded one of the earliest known organized schools in Western civilization when he was 40 years old on a plot of land in the Grove of Academe. The Academy was "a large enclosure of ground which was once the property of a citizen at Athens named Academus... some however say that it received its name from an ancient hero." (Robinson, Arch. Graec. I i 16) and it operated until it was closed by Justinian I of Byzantium in 529 CE. Many intellectuals were schooled here, the most prominent being Aristotle.

In Plato's writings one finds debates concerning aristocratic and democratic forms of government. One finds debates concerning the role of heredity and environment in human intelligence and personality long before the modern "nature versus nurture" debate began in the time of Hobbes and Locke, with its modern continuation in such controversial works as The Mismeasure of Man and The Bell Curve. One finds arguments for the subjectivity -- and objectivity -- of human knowledge which foreshadow modern debates between Hume and Kant, or between the postmodernists and their opponents. Even the myth of the lost city or continent of Atlantis originates as an illustrative story told by Plato in his Timaeus and Critias.