If he didn't exist, what fate could he actually have suffered enough to concern Plato?
Your premise is incorrect, there are at least two other soruces
Plato is only the most famous
Someone had a trial after all...
The question is how much what Plato wrote were really Socrates' words
... then change his name to Jesus Christ and be done with it!
There's no proof of his existance other than the Bible.
Just ask Bill & Ted..they`ll confirm it
And the "proof" that Plato lived is what? HIS writing? Maybe someone made up PLATO to avoid persecution.
Are YOU real or is someone making YOU up?
The thought here is that a real philosopher did exist especially concerning his earlier dialogues, as opposed to his later dialogues being influenced by Plato's own views, which strayed from the original philosophical views, whose name Plato could've likely used as his won pseudonym to cover up his identity due to fear of stirring the wrong feathers
Definitely, Ive thought that myself at times....its all so fascinating...
just a tidbit for folks:
Socrates, though well known in his time—for conversational skill and public education—wrote nothing. This means that any detailed knowledge of his theories and methods stemmed directly from the mouth of someone else—namely Plato.
The trouble with this is that Plato himself was also a philosopher and he injected his own ideas into the dialogues that he presented as discussions between Socrates and other famous figures. It is commonly thought that Socrates was accurately represented in the early dialogues of Plato and later was used more of a means of communicating the Plato’s thoughts.
Socrates In "The Apology"
In the Apology, Plato paints a portrait of Socrates being put on trial—charged with the undermining of state religion as well as the corruption of Greek youth. The speech that Socrates gives is a very good representation Socrates’ approach to philosophy as well as his approach to life.
The Apology shows the ironic modesty, questioning habits, devotion to truth and dispassionate reasoning that is commonly associated with the thinking of Socrates—instead of the thinking of Plato which is reflected in the later dialogues.
Read more at Suite101: The Philosophy of Socrates: An Analysis of Plato's Writing and Socrates' Representation http://philosophybooks.suite101.com/article.cfm/the_philosophy_of_socrates_in_the_apology#ixzz0cVftuOQ9
a lot of people think that there was a real socrates, but that later writers also used him as a "character" or exposition device. there was not the info-checking technology at that time ;)
There are other sources of his existence. As well as his trial in other wrtings of the times. As well as the writings of his students.