SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Bust of Plato (428-347 BC), Ancient Greek philosopher. Plato's work was, and is, a major influence on the development of European philosophical and scientific thought. Plato's spirit of rational inquiry led to today's scientific method. He saw the Earth as being imperfect, and therefore founded the tradition of mathematical analysis of nature. He helped to form the first coherent model of the motion of heavenly bodies, claiming that the planets moved in a circular motion. He also argued that the Earth was round. He claimed that the Universe was composed of 4 elements (water, earth, fire and air). Plato introduced the five "platonic solids" (cube, tetrahedron, octahedron, pyramid & dodecahedron), the only 5 regular solid shapes. Vatican museum.
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