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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.
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.
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
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
Posted January 11, 2014
Posted August 29, 2003
I don't know if it was the book or just Jowett's translation, but this thing was a chore to read. Only a few sentences made anything click in my head that was worth the while to think about. Yes, this book is a foundation for a lot of other works, but not very interesting in itself. Instead of reading it, just ask questions to yourself and use your own brain.
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