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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

"Joe Sachs, known and respected for his excellent translations of Aristotle, deserves great praise for this new translation of Plato's Republic. Based on the latest definitive edition of the Greek text and guided by a sense that Greek in English need not read like an old, foreign tongue, Sachs' translation captures the flow of the conversation in an English that reads smoothly, even when the ideas expressed force one to pause and look again. Fluid, yet accurate, Sachs' translation allows the thoughtful reader deeper entry into this all-important book. The editorial guides and typographical signs to remind the reader of who has joined the argument most recently are all highly helpful and most welcome. I look forward to reading this with students."
—Charles E. Butterworth, University of Maryland
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: 9780872207363
  • Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 392
  • Sales rank: 101,532
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Benjamin Jowett (15 April 1817 - 1 October 1893) was a theologian and translator of Plato.

Plato (428/427 or 424/423 BC - 348/347 BC) was a philosopher.

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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

Chapter 1 Introduction Part 2 Book I Chapter 3 Study Questions Part 4 Book II Chapter 5 Study Questions Part 6 Book III Chapter 7 Study Questions Part 8 Book IV Chapter 9 Study Questions Part 10 Book V Chapter 11 Study Questions Part 12 Book VI Chapter 13 Study Questions Part 14 Book VII Chapter 15 Study Questions Part 16 Book VIII Chapter 17 Study Questions Part 18 Book IX Chapter 19 Study Questions Part 20 Book X Chapter 21 Study Questions Part 22 Appendix 1: Cephalus and Polemarchus (Lysias, Against Eratosthenes) Part 23 Appendix 2: Athenian Imperialism (Thucydides, "The Melian Dialogue") Part 24 Appendix 3: The Ring of Gyges (Herodotus, Histories, Book I) Part 25 Appendix 4: The Status of Women (Xenophon, Oeconomicus) Part 26 Appendix 5: Athenian Constitutional History

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Life changing

    I read this book thinking I needed to brush up on my philosophical and political history. What ended up taking place was a mind sweeping revelation that penetrated my soul. I am 26 years old and at a point in life where I seem to have many regrets, and am not certain about who I am, or where I'm going. This book penetrates the very heart of these issues and, if you allow it, can open your mind to real purpose. Oh, it has some nice government pointers too. :-) Other notes: This translation is wonderful, very easy to follow syntactically. Interesting footnotes are not overly abrasive. Just read it. There's a message in this book for everyone.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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