The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.
Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality, Gifford Lectures 1927-28, New York: The Free Press, 1973. Internet Archive, accessed April 10, 2021. Part II, Section I, Chapter I.
For budding Phil-nerds, here is the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on Alfred North Whitehead.
And, Plato’s Republic.