The Republic by PlatoPresented in the form of a dialogue between Socrates and three different interlocutors, this classic text is an enquiry into the notion of a perfect community and the ideal individual within it. During the conversation, other questions are raised: what is goodness?; what is reality?; and what is knowledge? The Republic also addresses the purpose of education and the role of both women and men as guardians of the people. With remarkable lucidity and deft use of allegory, Plato arrives at a depiction of a state bound by harmony and ruled by philosopher kings.
The Republic by Plato (Audiobook)
The puzzles in Book One prepare for this question, and Glaucon and Adeimantus make it explicit at the beginning of Book Two. To answer the question, Socrates takes a long way around, sketching an account of a good city on the grounds that a good city would be just and that defining justice as a virtue of a city would help to define justice as a virtue of a human being. Socrates is finally close to answering the question after he characterizes justice as a personal virtue at the end of Book Four, but he is interrupted and challenged to defend some of the more controversial features of the good city he has sketched. In Books Five through Seven, he addresses this challenge, arguing in effect that the just city and the just human being as he has sketched them are in fact good and are in principle possible. Yet because Socrates links his discussion of personal justice to an account of justice in the city and makes claims about how good and bad cities are arranged, the Republic sustains reflections on political questions, as well.
Although it contains its dramatic moments and it employs certain literary devices, it is not a play, a novel, a story; it is not, in a strict sense, an essay. It is a kind of extended conversation that embraces a central argument, an argument that is advanced by the proponent of the argument, Socrates. It is Plato's intent in this dialogue to establish, philosophically, the ideal state, a state that would stand as a model for all emerging or existing societies currently functioning during Plato's time and extending into our own times. And we are to infer that any proposed changes in the policy of effecting justice in any state would have to meet the criteria of the ideal state: the Republic. Since its first appearance, the Republic has traditionally been published in ten books, probably from its having been so divided into ten "books" in its manuscript form. In order to clarify its argument, this Note further subdivides those ten books in its discussion.
A three-part deductive argument is called
The Republic by Plato - Summary of Books 1-4
I highly recommend this resource. Philosophy Talk: Plato Listen to this excellent radio program and take notes. The segment is about one hour. The free Real Player is required for streaming audio. Plato and Platonism A concise introductory essay from the Catholic Encyclopedia. This is a marked-up version of the Jowett translation. The Apology The mind altering depiction of the trial of Socrates.
In the dialogue, Socrates talks with various Athenians and foreigners about the meaning of justice and whether the just man is happier than the unjust man. They also discuss the theory of forms , the immortality of the soul , and the role of the philosopher and of poetry in society. While visiting the Piraeus with Glaucon , Polemarchus tells Socrates to join him for a romp. Socrates then asks Cephalus , Polemarchus, and Thrasymachus their definitions of justice. Cephalus defines justice as giving what is owed. Polemarchus says justice is "the art which gives good to friends and evil to enemies. The first book ends in aporia concerning its essence.