A Discussion on the Thoughts and Philosophies of Pericles and Plato


It is innate among humans to be fascinated by the different things that they particularly see around them (Durant, 1986, 10). It could not be denied then that through the years, this particular fascination within the different elements that could be seen in the human environment actually developed into the many discoveries and inventions that humans produced (Sternberg, 1989, 31). Through passing civilization of humans, it could be observed that the people were never contented with what they already have or what they have already accomplished. This is especially true in terms of science and technology as well as in arts and literature (Ambuel, 2006, 15). It is indeed undeniable that people recreate the things that are already existent within their own society.  The fact that they have already been able to see what they could do regarding a certain type of field (Cooper, 1997, 18), they intend to even do better the net time that they deal with the same invention. Yes, humans never get tired of reinventing everything there is in the environment. Why is this so?

Human intelligence has always been noted by philosophers as the primary factor that makes the human creation different from that of the other God-made creations. The humans’ ability to innovate their own achievements to even better results for the present generation to see, has particularly noted them to be those who are capable of reinventing themselves to be able to evolve from generations to generations. (Corlett, 2005, 17)

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Literature before was primarily defined as an art of writing that follows certain rules that are strict enough to keep its standards within the classical range of reading. However, when the different generations along with the historical events covered the human generation’s development (Ambuel, 2006, 15), the art of literature became one of the major process by which humans intended to express their thoughts and their predicaments about the things that are going on in the world. As a result, more and more people joined the bandwagon of writing and began to share their thoughts to the world with regards the issues that primarily concern the human society today. (Bakalis, 2005, 17)

This particular progress in literature has primarily been further fueled by the democratic arrangement of the major governments around the world, giving a chance for the freedom of human expression. It is through this that people became more aware of the world around them, they cared more than ever with the political agendas, the social issues as well as other informations that concern their interests (Cooper, 2005, 16). True, the changing situation in the society and the demand towards progress requires that human intelligence be perfected in a way that it particularly caters to the needs of the entire humanity. The human brain’s ability to store and restructure informations that were accepted by it through the years of an individual’s life is particularly a proof that the application of humans’ intelligence could still be perfected as generations are still to come along. (Allen, 2006, 18)

In the same idea, both the philosophers Plato and Pericles believed that humans are indeed capable of being highly involved with developments as they are certainly given the idealism of becoming the best at anything. They use their instinct accompanied by their need of fulfilling what they particularly opt to find out about life as a satisfaction to their curious minds (Sternberg, 1989, 14). Although both philosophers believed in this particular through, they did have different approaches in presenting the truth about their claims (Cooper, 1997, 13). To understand the issue better, the thoughts and philosophies of both Pericles and Plato shall be discussed within the paragraphs that follow in two separate presentations.

The Thoughts of Plato

Plato has been widely known in the human history of philosophy as the establisher of the western culture. His succession on the position left by Aristotle and Socrates has noted him to be among the most intelligent people who have lived in human history (Corlett, 1997, 25). His special skills in literature and the mind boggling explanation of human philosophy has particularly allowed him to become one of the most sought after philosophers of the world. As a philosopher, Plato has been known for his ability to validate his claims through mathematical pattern of assumptions as he present his ideas through his writings (Corlett, 2005, 27). The possibilities and the calculation of how the human mind reacts to certain situations has been noted to be among the best expertise of Plato himself.

As one of the foundations of human philosophy, Plato contributed so much on the knowledge of people at present. Plato has been known for the presentation of his thoughts through the use of dialogues. The conversations between people have been utilized by Plato as a way by which he could convey his ideas to the people. Moreover, the said dialogues discussed different issues of human elements that could noticeably be used to explain the different difficulties that could be considered when the topic about human behavior comes into attention. (Durant, 1986, 31)

Among the consequential issues that his dialogues mainly cater to are that of the father and son relationship, the truth behind the human realism, and the ability of humans to perceive the truth from illusionary imaginations (Bakalis, 205, 93). On the first issue cited herein, the relation of father and son have always fascinated the mind of Plato as he tries to identify the connection between the father and the son as both grow further towards maturity. Among the answers he usually opt to discuss is that of the ways by which the values that the father implies on the son contribute to the personal growth and being of that particular individual. Most likely, Plato has long been trying to identify how the elements of fatherhood actually influence the acceptance of different individuals of the teachings, thus applying them as values for themselves to learn from and later on apply in their own systems of living.

The second issue presented is on the realism of the human population. This particularly points out to the ability of humans to use their reasoning and their intelligent judgment of the things that they hear, they see, and they observe, thus defining on which one is actually true and which one is on the other hand imaginary. True, people have this particular ability of knowing what is real from what is not. However, the reasoning behind such ability is somewhat complex, and this is what actually moved Plato to identify the factors that affect the human judgment on such elemental factors in the human society.

The third topic of attention is that of the imaginative abilities of humans. True, humans enjoy the fact that they are able to imagine different things as a part of their intellectual capabilities. When feeling down and depressed, people usually use their capabilities of imagining things to at least ease them from the truths of their present situation. However, although many consider imagination as gift, it could not be denied that the human ability of coming back to reality could still help them set their decision on which one is the real situation differentiating it from the imaginary elements that they themselves have created in their minds.(Ambuel,2006, 15)

Through these thoughts, Plato also tried to imply on his writing the idea on the “real world”, whereas he refers to the present system of things to be just a shadow of the real world, referring to the people at present as those who are living in an imaginary world. True, this thought might seem quite confusing at some point. However, if closely observed, it could not be denied that the situation is quite obvious. It all boils down to the reality of the people. Because of the fact that humans are less able to become realistic with who they are, they are then consequently living their lives in an unrealistic world that makes it even harder for themselves to “zap” back into the real life that they ought to face. This is in correspondence to the doubts of humans as to why they are at times in trouble of finding what they really want out of living on earth.

The Thoughts of Pericles

Pericles has been known to be among the list of the most successful ancient politicians of the human history. This is most likely because of the skill that he himself has faced during his rule in Athens. Even when he was still on his way in being inspired in becoming an icon of the public, he knew that the responsibility that he was about to take was not that easy to fulfill (Corlett, 2005, 48). This is when he was actually able to take into consideration the understanding that he must gain with regards the philosophical make up of humankind. Dealing with people of different individualities naturally urged Pericles to search in an in-depth way on the beliefs and the elements that contribute to human behavior and development. Hence, he has also be fascinatingly interested in human philosophical education.

As he progressed in the learning, he himself has been urged to bring out the best among the people that he led. Particularly referring to the ability of humans to speak out their minds for others to hear their thoughts, he implied amongst his people the importance of one’s ability to at least freely speak off their minds to the public (Cooper, 1997, 18). This, according to him, is one of the most important rights a person could have, a certain process by which an individual would be able to experience the reality of life that he is supposed to live with.


Yes, it is indeed true that the human intelligence continues to grow through the years of its history. With the contributed foundation by those who have led the way in understanding the human capability of thinking and acting upon what they believe in, the human society today is now more confident in what they believe in, more expressive of their thoughts and more imaginative on their ways of facing the truth of their lives.

From the discussion presented above, it could be observed that Plato particularly proffered on discussion the abstract factors that contribute to the continuous improvement of human intelligence. Moreover, the said thought has been mainly established by the philosopher through explaining his claims using the different dimensions of math and human philosophy. Constantly referring to the ability of the mind to imagine and to bring its thought back to reality has noted Plato as one of the most remarkable philosophers who were able to unlock the truth behind human imagination. On the other hand, Pericles has been mostly focused on the ability of humans to disperse their thoughts and actually affect the society that they are living in. It is through their freedom of speaking their thoughts off to the public that they are able to make the necessary changes that they ought to contribute to their communities.

Certainly, if observed closely, Percles’ and Plato’s belief on the capabilities of humans to use their capabilities well explains how the human intelligence is actually used in the systems by which the human civilization progresses towards modernity. As people are able to imagine and disperse their thoughts to others, they are able to make different, at times even great changes to the societies that they are living in. The thoughts of the two philosophers as discussed herein could be noted as one of the most important influence that they both have left the human society.


Robert J. Sternberg. (1989). Handbook of Human Intelligence. Cambridge University Press.

Allen, R.E. (2006). Studies in Plato’s Metaphysics II. Parmenides Publishing. ISBN 978-1-930972-18-6

Ambuel, David (2006). Image and Paradigm in Plato’s Sophist. Parmenides Publishing. ISBN 978-1-930972-004-9

Bakalis, Nikolaos (2005). Handbook of Greek Philosophy: From Thales to the Stoics Analysis and Fragments, Trafford Publishing ISBN 1-4120-4843-5

Cooper, John M. & Hutchinson, D. S. (Eds.) (1997). Plato: Complete Works. Hackett Publishing Co., Inc. ISBN 0-87220-349-2.

Corlett, J. Angelo (2005). Interpreting Plato’s Dialogues. Parmenides Publishing. ISBN 978-1-930972-02-5

Durant, Will (1986). The Story of Philosophy. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-671-69500-2.

Lawrence S. Cunningham and John J. Reich. Culture & Values: A SURVEY OF THE HUMANITIES, volume one/sixth edition,  Library of Congress Control Number: 2005923993.

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