Plato’s contribution to philosophy can hardly be overstated: he invented it. He took a burgeoning activity which had been practiced for almost a century – the critical investigation of reality – and gave it a method (dialectics), a purpose (the search for truth about the most important matters for a human being), an epistemological status (wisdom, namely objective knowledge of reality, which can be accounted for and distinguished from lesser forms of knowledge), and a literary style (the dialogical form, which enables the reader to learn the proper way to achieve truth). Philosophy for Plato had a moral and normative role. By knowing the truth about the world we live in, we are able to make the correct life choices and, in the very common case for an Athenian citizen also having a public role, it is instrumental in creating a good political community. For Plato, only those who know what is really good for their fellow citizens can be good politicians. Finally, philosophy does not eschew the problem of the existence and role of the gods in the universe and therefore is the only activity which can safely claim to save our soul. 1