The Republic / Edition 2

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Overview

Without doubt the greatest and most provocative work of political philosophy ever produced in the West, The Republic is here presented in the stately and melodious Jowett translation-a perfect mirror of the beauty of Plato's style.

Beginning as an inquiry into justice as it operates in individuals, The Republic soon becomes an inquiry into the problems of constructing the perfect state. Are the masses really qualified to choose virtuous leaders? Should the rulers of a state receive a special education to prepare them to exercise power virtuously? What should such an education consist of? Should artists who do not use their gifts in a morally responsible way still be allowed a place in society? The Republic's answers to these and related questions make up a utopian (or, perhaps, dystopian) program that challenges many of the modern world's most dearly held assumptions-and leads us to reexamine and better understand those assumptions.

Author Biography:
Plato (c. 427-347 B.C.) was born into a wealthy and prominent family, and grew up during the conflict between Athens and the Peloponnesian states. The execution of his mentor, Socrates, in 399 B.C. on charges of irreligion and corrupting the young, necessitated Plato's leaving Athens. He traveled to Egypt as well as to southern Italy, where he became conversant with Pythagorean philosophy. Plato returned to Athens c. 387 B.C. and founded the Academy, an early forerunner of the modern university. Aristotle was among his students.

The most important of the Socratic dialogues, The Republic is concerned with the construction of an ideal commonwealth and thus is the earliest of utopias.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

C.D.C. Reeve has taken the excellent Grube translation and, without sacrificing accuracy, rendered it into a vivid and contemporary style. It is intensity that is often lost in translation, but not here. This is not just a matter of style. The Republic is full of brilliant thoughts, and one needs to preserve brilliance to capture them. In the cave of translations, Reeve’s revision of Grube's Republic is closest to the sun. --Jonathan Lear, University of Chicago

Reeve has reworked the Grube translation thoroughly, raising the level of philosophical accuracy and updating the language, all the while retaining--and indeed enhancing--the celebrated readability of the Grube original. For a long time to come, Grube-Reeve will deservedly be the first choice of scholars and students alike. --John Cooper, Princeton University

P.C. Kemeny
This superior translation has an engaging, constructive tone. For introductory students with little or no historical background with which to appreciate the nuances of Plato's Republic, Tschemplik clearly sets the historical context and identifies the characters.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780872201378
  • Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/1/1992
  • Series: HPC Classics Series
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: 2nd Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 392
  • Sales rank: 804,733
  • Product dimensions: 5.82 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

R. E. Allen was Professor of Classics and Philosophy Emeritus at Northwestern University. His other distinguished translations of Plato’s dialogues, published by Yale University Press, include Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno, Gorgias, Menexenus; The Symposium; Ion, Hippias Minor, Laches, Protagoras; and Parmenides.

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Read an Excerpt


Socrates: I went down yesterday to Piraeus with Glaucon, Ariston’s son, to pray to the goddess, wanting at the same time also to see the way they were going to hold the festival, since they were now conducting it for the first time. The parade of the local residents seemed to me to be beautiful, while the one that the Thracians put on looked no less appropriate. And having prayed and having seen, we went off toward the city. Spotting us from a distance then as we headed home, Polemarchus, Cephalus’s son, ordered his slave to run and order us to wait for him. And grabbing me from behind by my cloak, the slave said “Polemarchus orders you to wait.” And I turned around and asked him where the man himself was. “He’s coming along from behind,” he said. “Just wait.” “Certainly we’ll wait” said Glaucon.
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Table of Contents

Preface and background to the Republic xiii

Introduction xxiii

Principal Dates xlvii

Current Opinions of Justice Refuted (Book 1) 1

Introductory Dialogue (Socrates and Cephalus, 328c-331d) 2

First Definition (Cephalus, 331a-d) 5

Refutation (332c-335d) 6

Third Definition (Thrasymachus, 338c-343a) 13

Refutation (339b-e) 14

Redefinition of Ruler (340d-341a) 15

Refutation (341c-343a) 16

New Argument (343a-348a) 18

Refutations of (a): i) 345b-348a) 20

Refutation of (b), 352d-354a 28

Conclusion (354a-c) 30

Justice Reexamined, in the State and in the Individual (Books 2-4) 31

Adeimantus (362d-367e) 35

The Problem Examined and Solved (368c-445e) 40

Second State of the State (372d-427c) 44

Elementary Education of the guardians (376c-415d) 48

Gymnastics (physical education), 403c-412b 73

Instilling and testing patriotism and leadership, 412c-415d 81

Living arrangements of guardians and auxiliaries (415d-427c) 85

Conclusion (427c-434d) 94

Wisdom = the knowledge of the guardians (428a-429a) 95

Courage = the auxiliaries’ opinion of “what is and is not to be feared” (429a-30c) 96

Temperance = agreement of all three classes about who should rule and be ruled (430d-432b) 97

Justice = each of the three classes “tending its own business” and not preempting the work of another (432b-434d) 99

Composition of the Soul (434d-441c) 101

Conclusion (441d-444e) 109

Degeneration Regimes and Souls, Interrupted (445b-449a) 113

Digression: The Best Regime and Men (Books 5-7) 114

Organization of the Best Regime (451c-461e) 116

Women and children will not be private possessions but common to all of the men. Marriage arrangements, eugenics (457c-461e) 122

The Superiority and Possibility of Such a City (462a-473e) 126

Excursus: regulations for warfare (466e-471c) 131

Such a city is not impossible (471e-473c) 136

Reminder that the best state is only a model, not completely realizable in practice (472b-473b). It is possible only if philosophers become kings or kings philosophers (473c-3), 138

The Best Men: Philosopher Kings (Guardians), Book 5, 474b-Book 7 139

The Philosophic Nature (485a-503e) 147

Higher Education of the Guardians (504a-535a) 165

The Simple of the Sun (506e-509b) 168

The Simile of the Divided Line (509d-511e) 171

The Simile of the Cave (514a-521b) 174

Curriculum (521c-535a) 181

Plane geometry, 526c-527c 186

Harmonics, 530d-531c 190

Selection of the Guardians (535a-540c) 195

Brief Excursus (540d-541b) 200

Degenerate Regimes and Souls, Resumed From Book 5 (Books 8 and 9) 201

Cause of Change or Decline in a State: Civil War (545c-547c) 203

Degenerate Regimes and Men, Described and Compared (547c-592b) 205

Oilgarchy (rule of the wealthy few) and the oligarchic man (550c-555b) 208

Democracy (rule of the people) and the democratic man (555b-562a) 213

Tyranny (dictatorship) and the tyrannical man (562a-580a) 220

The five types are judged for their goodness and happiness and ranked in the order in which they were presented: Aristocracy and the aristocratic man are the best and happiness; tyranny and the tyrant are the worst and most miserable (580a-588a) 237

Conclusion: The aristocrat is just, the tyrant unjust. Therefore justice makes a man happy, injustice makes him unhappy (588b-592b) 247

Denunciation of Imitative Poetry (Book 10, 595a-608b) 251

Imitative poetry appeals to the emotions rather than to the mind (602c-605c) 259

Imitative poetry deforms character (605c-608b) 263

Immortality and the Rewards of Justice (608b-End) 265

Rewards of Justice and Punishments of Injustice in This Life (612b-614a) 269

Rewards and Punishments After Death (614a-621d) 271

Appendix: The Spindle of Necessity 279

Bibliography 283

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Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2007

    a cornerstone of western philosophy

    do not be fooled! this book was (and still is) ages ahead of its time. there is no merely 'suspecting' that you understand this book. when you 'get it' you will 'know.' try to find an accurate translation and not one which is 'more culturally relevant today' - the idea that the Republic can be made 'culturally relevant' is all the more ridiculous considering that its implications are virtually eternal (and were meant to be). Socrates asks a lot of simple but very penetrating questions. a common and fatal error in contemporary Platonic scholarship (but even in the past) is the answering of each question (quickly) singly and missing the big picture. regardless of the historical existence of the philosophical Socrates or the historical occurence of the dialogues in the Republic, the account Plato has recorded for us in his book is among the most exact analyses of the human condition ever committed to paper. the vocabulary is not difficult, but some of the concepts will require close attention. it's better to read this book when you have some time to commit.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2002

    Decent Translation

    While the Republic is a great book to read, this translation tends to get confusing at times. I would not reccomend it for first year students or casual readers. Other translations, such as the Bloom translation, are written in a more intelligible style.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2005

    A well written and thought provoking book

    In 'The Republic', Plato attempts to outline an ideal society based on justice. The governemnt he suggests, however, is merely the backdrop for answering vital questions about human nature. Plato tries to define justice as well as philosophers, and argues that the just man is happier tha the unjust man. I highly recommend this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2005

    Re-Public Rules!

    The whole idea, the vast concepts of a public before publicity existed, the interpretation of preparing a public to function in its 're' status, and allowing women to vote... this is a must read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2005

    THE OK BOOK

    I think the book it's ok, but i do suggest to read because it tells about all the governments and the one he thinks its the best. But I think the most important is that it makes you think and makes you analyzed about things about today and about your life its you opinion if u dont like it but i think you just didn't put too much attention or really dont like books at all.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2004

    Needful reading

    This book is both boring and tedious to read. However, Plato's Republic is essential for all historians and political scientists. In the Republic, Plato exlpains the effective use of the NOBLE LIE. The Republic is not a book to create a government from, but a book to explain government.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    An excellent take on human society that's still relevant today

    While the language is 'heavy', and the interpretative essay does not hold you hand in exploring my significant ideas in rapid succession, it is a great work to explore and to understand.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2000

    The best translation out there!

    simply the best translation out there....I couldn't have gotten through my political science classes without it!

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