Main CategoriesWestern Mysticism and PhilosophyNeoplatonism and Greek Philosophy Plato, Volume V: The Republic, Books 1-5

Plato, Volume V: The Republic, Books 1-5

Product no.: 0-674-99262-8
Plato, the great philosopher of Athens, was born in 427 BC. In early manhood an admirer of Socrates, he later founded the famous school of philosophy in the grove Academus.

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Publisher's Synopsis

Plato's The Republic is one of the most important philosophical works ever written. It is the account, as told by Socrates, of a meeting and debate between some of the greatest minds of ancient Greece. Justice, politics, and ideal governments are examined, questioned, and rebuilt.

A vital stone in the foundation of Western philosophy and law, this work has proven to be food for thought for many future generations of philosophers, lawyers, and political leaders.

In his A History of Western Philosophy (1945), Bertrand Russell identifies three parts to the Republic:

  • Books I–V: the eutopia portraying the ideal community and the education of the Guardians, parting from attempting to define justice; 
  • Books VI–VII: define “philosopher”, since philosophers are the ideal rulers of such a community; 
  • Books VIII–X: discuss the pros and cons of various practical forms of government.

The core of the second part is discussed in the Allegory of the Cave, and articles related to the Theory of (ideal) Forms. The third part concerns the Five Regimes and is strongly related to The Laws dialogue; and the Myth of Er.

Reviews
"The Republic of Plato is the longest of his works with the exception of the Laws, and is certainly the greatest of them. There are nearer approaches to modern metaphysics in the Philebus and in the Sophist; the Politicus or Statesman is more ideal; the form and institutions of the State are more clearly drawn out in the Laws; as works of art, the Symposium and the Protagoras are of higher excellence.

But no other Dialogue of Plato has the same largeness of view and the same perfection of style; no other shows an equal knowledge of the world, or contains more of those thoughts which are new as well as old, and not of one age only but of all. Nowhere in Plato is there a deeper irony or a greater wealth of humour or imagery, or more dramatic power. Nor in any other of his writings is the attempt made to interweave life and speculation, or to connect politics with philosophy."      ~Benjamin Jowett

Excerpt
"The society we have described can never grow into a reality or see the light of day, and there will be no end to the troubles of states, or indeed, my dear Glaucon, of humanity itself, till philosophers become rulers in this world, or till those we now call kings and rulers really and truly become philosophers, and political power and philosophy thus come into the same hands."

Author Plato
Translator Shorey, Paul
Book Type Hardcover
Page Count 592 pp.
Publisher Harvard University Press 1982
Series The Loeb Classical Library
Browse these categories as well: Neoplatonism and Greek Philosophy, Masterworks of the Western Mystery Tradition

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