Widely acknowledged as his most influential work, Republic presents Plato's philosophical views on the nature of justice and his vision for the ideal state.
The Republic is widely regarded as Plato’s greatest work and the finest of the Socratic dialogues—it remains a cornerstone of Western philosophy. It sets out to define is "What is justice?" Presented in the form of a dialogue between Socrates and his interlocutors, The Republic explores the idea of what consitutes a perfect community and the ideal individual who lives within it. It considers whether or not a concept of Justice may be determined by citizens in a given state and how Justice may be best accomplished. Plato establishes that the just individual can be defined in analogy with the just society, compares the ideal rule of philosopher kings to the unjust rule of tyrants, and concludes that justice is worthwhile for its own sake—it is the greatest good.
This edition includes: -A concise introduction that gives the reader important background information -A chronology of the author's life and work -A timeline of significant events that provides the book's historical context -An outline of key themes to guide the reader's own interpretations -Detailed explanatory notes -Critical analysis and modern perspectives on the work -Discussion questions to promote lively classroom and book group interaction -A list of recommended related books and films to broaden the reader's experience
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Plato, one of the most renowned ancient Greek philosophers, was born in 427 B.C. to an aristocratic and wealthy family, which played a prominent part in Athenian politics. Plato in conjunction his teacher, Socrates, and his pupil, Aristotle helped to lay the foundations of Western philosophy and culture. While primarily influenced by Socrates, Plato’s work was also affected by the philosophies of Heraclitus, Parmenides, and the Pythagoreans.
Under the guidance of Socrates, Plato devoted himself to the pursuit of wisdom and upon Socrates’ death, joined a group of the Socratic disciples gathered at Megara. Later he travelled in Egypt, Magna Graecia, and Sicily. He returned to Athens and founded a school, known as the Academy, which seems to have been his home base for the remainder of his life.
While thirty-five dialogues and thirteen letters have traditionally been ascribed to Plato, modern scholarship doubts the authenticity of some of them. His early dialogues are also known as the Socratic dialogues and include Apology, Crito, Euthyphro, and Protagoras. He followed these with his transitional dialogues: Gorgias, Meno , and Euthydemus . The Symposium and the Republic are considered the centerpieces of Plato's middle period and are considered some of his most revered work, and other middle dialogues include Phaedo, Phaedrus, and Theaetetus. Plato’s Laws is the best known dialogues of his late period.