The Republic / Edition 1

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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: 9780882951188
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/28/1979
  • Series: Crofts Classics Series , #11
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 932,915
  • Product dimensions: 52.50 (w) x 77.50 (h) x 7.50 (d)

Meet the Author


C. D. C. Reeve is Delta Kappa Epsilon Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
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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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  • 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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