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Plato's Academy

Plato seem to have disagreed with Socrates's insistence that fundamental knowledge meant moral knowledge based on inner reflection. Plato concluded that knowledge meant searching for truths that are independent of the observer and could be taught to others. He acted on this latter belief by founding the Academy1, a shady gathering spot just outside the walls of Athens, which was named after the local hero whose shrine was nearby. The Academy was not a school or college in the modern sense but rather an informal association of people, who were interested in studying philosophy, mathematics, and theoretical astronomy with Plato as their guide. The Academy became so famous as a gathering place for intellectuals that it continued to operate for nine hundred years after Plato's death, with periods in which it was directed by distinguished philosophers and others during which it lapsed into mediocrity.

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