It is said that all philosophy after Plato is “merely footnotes”—so formative is the work of this 5th century BCE Greek philosopher. Using his dead teacher Socrates as a character in nearly all of his dialogues, Plato (429-347) essentially invents the philosophic method while laying the foundation for Western philosophy across metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics. Even now we recognize our own philosophical curiosity and longing in his remarkable writing and incomparable influence. In our ongoing series on The Great Philosophers, Plato is not one to miss.