A Study of the Relationship between Plato and Socrates

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Plato and Socrates

Additionally studying the history of psychology provides a source of valuable ideas, and brings attention to the understanding of what the ideas and theories that were once no accepted, or in fashion and can thus reemerge. Presently, there is a renewed scientific interest in psychedelic medicine and is generating new knowledge about a class of pharmacologic substances that humans have long used for ceremonial, therapeutic and cultural purposes for the treatment depression, alcoholism and anxiety, and in the 1950’s was removed from clinical treatment yet presently there is a renewed interest and application of such treatment in clinical settings amongst therapist.

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Lastly, understanding ideas from their most basic develop, cultural and historical perspectives illuminates the depths and considerations for modern psychology.

Socrates, Plato and Aristotle

Socrates introduced the understanding of introspection to encourage knowing ones own mind and soul, or to understand one’s personal truth which exist beyond personal opinion. Socrates believed in the importance of individual experience and this is relevant in many modern humanistic approaches through person centered therapies. Socrates believed that the goal of life was to gain knowledge, and that knowledge was attained in understanding the essence of something, is its basic nature, its identifying, enduring characteristics. Additionally, to understand what it means to be human and the problems related to human existence, Socrates essentially created states of mind, as knowledge is what guides one to act with morals, such that as one knows what justice is, one acts justly, and therefore, ignorance results in improper conduct.

Plato was a student of Socrates and also believed in knowledge and the inner experience, however, Plato established mental operations as a means of arriving at the truth and that truth was ultimately in born. Plato derived that cognitions, motives and memory, as he described that true knowledge through focusing on the thoughts as all knowledge is innate. For example, Plato asserts that beliefs do not constitute knowledge, but rather there is a hierarchal level of thinking, such that the lower levels which are sensing and imagining and observable and the highest form of thinking involves embracing the forms themselves, true intelligence to knowledge results only from the understanding of the abstract forms. Plato’s assumptions that the mind effects perception, sleep and dreams has also influenced modern psychologists such as Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung.

Aristotle embraced both rationalism and empiricism. He believed that the mind must be employed before knowledge can be attained but that the object of rational thought is the information furnished by the senses. Aristotle believed we could generally trust our senses to yield an accurate representation of the environment and thus, applied a hippocratic, biological tradition to his approach. Through a method of observation, definition, and classification to explain several psychological phenomena in biological terms, Aristotle is as one of the first physiological psychologists. Aristotle postulated an inner potential in humans that they may or may not reach, his theory represents psychology’s first self-actualization theory will resemble to modern actualization theories of Jung, Maslow, and Rogers.


  1. Henley, T. B. (2019). An introduction to the history of psychology (8th ed.). Boston, Cenage


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A Study of The Relationship Between Plato and Socrates. (2022, Jun 28). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/a-study-of-the-relationship-between-plato-and-socrates/