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Plato (427-347 BC), Ancient Greek philosopher. Plato's spirit of rational inquiry led to today's scientific method. His writings shaped and continue to have a profound influence on Western thought. He was a pupil of Socrates, founded the Academy in Athens, and taught Aristotle. Engraving, based on a bust in the Uffizi Gallery Florence, Italy, from Vies des Savants Illustres (1877).
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