Plato (c. 427-347 BC) was an Athenian philosopher during the Classical period of Greece and a student of Socrates. Thirty-five dialogues and thirteen letters have traditionally been ascribed to Plato. He founded the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Seth Benardete (1930-2001) was professor of classics at New York University. In addition to NYU he taught at The New School, Harvard University, Brandeis University, and St. John's College in Annapolis. He was the author or translator of many books, most recently The Argument of the Action, Plato's "Laws," and Plato's "Symposium," all published by the University of Chicago Press.