A Guide to Plato's Republic / Edition 1

A Guide to Plato's Republic / Edition 1

by Daryl H. Rice
Pub. Date:
Oxford University Press, USA

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A Guide to Plato's Republic / Edition 1

A Guide to Plato's Republic provides an integral interpretation of the Republic which is accessible even to readers approaching Plato's masterwork for the first time. Written at a level understandable to undergraduates, it is ideal for students and other readers who have little or no background in philosophy or political theory. Rice anticipates their inevitable reactions to the Republic and treats them seriously, opening the way to an appreciation of the complexities of the text without oversimplifying it.
While many books on the Republic never stray far from explicating Plato's text, this work contrasts Plato's responses to perennial issues in philosophy and political theory with those of several key subsequent thinkers. It uses engaging examples to show the continuing relevance of Plato's arguments and introduces some basic vocabulary of philosophy and political theory, going beyond terse dictionary definitions by illustrating what technical terms mean in the context of Plato's work.
The author's interpretative posture is appreciative but respectfully critical of Plato's vision. Stressing the relationship between Plato's politics and metaphysics, Rice argues that Plato's reluctance to accept the reality and consequences of finitude accounts for much of what many readers find objectionable in his politics.
Lively, relatively brief, and designed to provoke discussion in the classroom, A Guide to Plato's Republic is ideal for political theory and introduction to philosophy courses as well as other courses that assign the Republic as a primary text.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780195112849
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date: 09/11/1997
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 8.10(w) x 5.50(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

Guide to Pronunciation
1. Philosophy and Ordinary Life (Reading in the Republic: Book I)
Plato's Dialogical Style
The Sociology of Knowledge and Questioning Authority
Appearance and Reality and Questioning Common Sense
Normative Philosophy Versus Empirical Enquiry
Absolute Philosophy Versus Relative Convention
The Normative/Empirical Distinction in a Moralized Cosmos
Plato's Diaglogical Style Reconsidered
Some Initial Reservations
Suggestions for Further Reading
2. Politics and the Ideal City (Reading in the Republic: Books II-V)
Plato Versus Hobbes on Justice and Happiness
The Construction and Rationale of the Ideal City
Art and Censorship
The Living Conditions of the Guardians
Useful Falsehoods
Force in the City and Soul
Plato Versus Hobbes on Substantive and Instrumental Reason
Suggestions for Further Reading
3. Plato's Metaphysics (Reading in the Republic: Books VI-VII)
Metaphysics, Ontology, and Epistemology
The Divided Line as an Overview of Plato's Metaphysics
Explaining Plato's Metaphysics on its Own Terms
The Doctrine of the Forms—Realism Versus Nominalism
Dialectic and the Form of God
Problems in Plato's Metaphysics Interpreted on its Own Terms
Interpreting Plato's Metaphysics from Other Points of View—Acknowledging Finitude
Suggestions for Further Reading
4. Plato's Metaphysics and Imperfect Justice (Reading in the Republic : Books VIII-X)
The Types of Imperfect Justice
Ranking the Types
Proofs that Most Just Person is Happiest
Critique of the Proofs
The Genesis of Imperfection
Accounts of Imperfection in Subsequent Philosophy and Political Theory
Art Versus Philosophy Revisited and the Myth of Er
Suggestions for Furhter Reading
5. Politics in the Face of Finitude (Reading in the Republic: Review of Book VIII)
Aristocracy, Timocracy, Oligarchy, and Tyranny Rejected
Democracy by Default
Another View—Interpreting Plato as a Proponent of Democracy
Appropriating Plato's Criticism of Democracy
Democracy and Philosophy
Suggestions for Further Reading
Selecting Bibliography

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