Plato was a Greek philosopher and a big fan of the question “why?” Some say he was obsessed with it, and his friends would often tease him by asking him “why do you always ask why?” To which Plato would reply, “why not?”
Plato was born in Athens in the year 428 BC, the same year the first Ouzo distillery was founded. Some historians say that Plato’s love of philosophy was inspired by the mysterious effects of Ouzo, but others say that Plato was way too smart to be drinking that stuff.
Plato was a student of Socrates, who was known for asking people questions until they realized they had no idea what they were talking about. Plato was so impressed with Socrates’ methods that he decided to start using them himself. He would often go up to people and ask them “what is justice?” or “what is beauty?” People would give him bewildered looks and say “I have no idea!” Plato would then smile and say “aha, that’s what I thought.”
Plato was also famous for his theory of Forms. He believed that everything in the physical world was just a copy of a perfect Form that existed in some other realm. For example, the chair you are sitting on right now is just a copy of the perfect Chair that exists somewhere else. We can never see the perfect Chair, but we can imagine it. Plato called this the “Realm of Forms” or the “Realm of Ideas”. Some say that Plato came up with this theory after staring at a particularly bad copy of a Greek statue for too long.
Plato was the founder of the Academy in Athens, which was the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. The Academy was a pretty fancy place, filled with curious students and lots of books. Plato was the headmaster and he was known for being a pretty strict teacher. He would often give his students homework that would take them hours to complete, just for fun. When asked why, Plato would just smile and say “why not?”
Plato died in 348 BC, and it’s unclear how he died. Some historians say that he drank too much Ouzo, while others say that he was simply too old to keep asking “why?” One thing is for sure, Plato’s contributions to philosophy will be remembered for a long time to come. In fact, some say that every time someone asks “why?”, Plato’s ghost appears and nods approvingly. But don’t try it at home, folks. We don’t want to summon any ghosts.