Plato & Socrates: Comparing the Differences

Plato vs Socrates

Plato and Socrates were philosophers who had distinct differences in their philosophical concepts and ideas. One key difference between the two is their emphasis on the soul versus the body. Plato gave more importance to the soul of a human being, while Socrates didn’t discuss it as much.

Socrates emphasized the importance of justice over injustice. He believed that everything has a specific function that it performs best. For example, Socrates would argue that the function of the eye is to see, and a pruning knife is better suited for pruning than butchering. He also believed that everything is characterized by a virtue that is directly related to its function. So, the virtue of the eye is its sight, and the virtue of a pruning knife is its sharpness. This was Socrates’ philosophy.

On the other hand, Plato disagreed with the notion that injustice is better than justice. According to Plato, each person has a function, and a city can be virtuous when everyone fulfills their function. Plato referred to the human function as deliberation, as well as other functions like ruling, taking care of things, and living. He believed these functions were tied to the community in which one lives. Therefore, the differing conceptualization of the human function is a main point of contention between Plato and Socrates.

Socrates criticized the concept of overreaching and argued that it is foolish to live in such a way. These differences in thought are some of the most significant distinctions between Plato and Socrates.


1. Plato gives more importance to the soul of the human being than the body, while Socrates does not speak much about the soul.
2. Socrates believes in the importance of each thing having its own function and virtue, while Plato believes that each person has a function and the city can be virtuous when each person performs their function.
3. Socrates attacks the concept of overreaching, stating that it is a foolish way to live.

Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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