The Republic (Penguin Books for Philosophy)

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9780140440485: The Republic (Penguin Books for Philosophy)

The best known of Plato's dialogues, "The Republic" applies the principles of philosophy to political affairs. Ostensibly a discussion of the nature of justice, it lays before us Plato's vision of the ideal state, covering a wide range of topics, social, educational, psychological, moral and philosophical. It also includes in the process, some of Plato's most important writing on the nature of reality and the theory of the 'forms'. Plato is critical of Athenian democracy, which had been responsible for the execution of his friend, and teacher, Socrates, and his political ideas, as expressed in "The Republic", started lines of thought which are still relevant today. This translation was first published in 1955 and revised in 1974 and 1987. The translator died in 1993.

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Book Description:

In this influential two-volume edition, first published in 1902, the Scottish classicist James Adam examines the text of Plato's monumental political and philosophical dialogue. Volume 2 focuses on Books 6-10, which discuss the place of the philosopher and questions of governance.

From the Back Cover:

This celebrated philosophical work of the fourth century B.C. contemplates the elements of an ideal state, serving as the forerunner for such other classics of political thought as Cicero's De Republica, St. Augustine's City of God, and Thomas More's Utopia.
Written in the form of a dialog in which Socrates questions his students and fellow citizens, The Republic concerns itself chiefly with the question, "What is justice?" as well as Plato's theory of ideas and his conception of the philosopher's role in society. To explore the latter, he invents the allegory of the cave to illustrate his notion that ordinary men are like prisoners in a cave, observing only the shadows of things, while philosophers are those who venture outside the cave and see things as they really are, and whose task it is to return to the cave and tell the truth about what they have seen. This dynamic metaphor expresses at once the eternal conflict between the world of the senses (the cave) and the world of ideas (the world outside the cave), and the philosopher's role as mediator between the two.

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