The Republic

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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: 9781605203256
  • Publisher: Cosimo
  • Publication date: 10/31/2008
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,042,990
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Plato ( 428/427 BC - 348/347 BC) was a philosopher in Classical Greece. He was also a mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the foundations of Western philosophy and science. In the words of A. N. Whitehead:

The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato. I do not mean the systematic scheme of thought which scholars have doubtfully extracted from his writings. I allude to the wealth of general ideas scattered through them.

Plato's sophistication as a writer is evident in his Socratic dialogues; thirty-six dialogues and thirteen letters have been ascribed to him. Plato's writings have been published in several fashions; this has led to several conventions regarding the naming and referencing of Plato's texts. Plato's dialogues have been used to teach a range of subjects, including philosophy, logic, ethics, rhetoric, religion and mathematics. Plato is one of the most important founding figures in Western philosophy.

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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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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2003

    Much about nothing

    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.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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