Understanding Plato′s Republic

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Understanding Plato's Republic is an accessibleintroduction to the concepts of justice that inform Plato'sRepublic, elucidating the ancient philosopher's main argument thatwe would be better off leading just lives rather than unjust ones
  • Provides a much needed up to date discussion of TheRepublic's fundamental ideas and Plato's main argument
  • Discusses the unity and coherence of The Republic as awhole
  • Written in a lively style, informed by over 50 years ofteaching experience
  • Reveals rich insights into a timeless classic that holdsremarkable relevance to the modern world
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ISBN-13: 9781405120180
ISBN-10: 1405120185
Pagini: 250
Dimensiuni: 165 x 227 x 14 mm
Greutate: 0.39 kg
Editura: Wiley
Locul publicării: Chichester, United Kingdom

Public țintă

The Republic is probably the most studied and widely read work of philosophy, and is the most important of Plato′s dialogues. It is studied by students at all levels, from beginners to graduates, in ancient philosophy, ethics, political science, epistemology and metaphysics.
This book will be written with those coming to the text for the first time expressly in mind. However, Santas′ skill of bringing Plato into dialogue with modern philosophers should interest readers at all levels.

Where this fits

In addition to this book, Jerry Santas is also editing our Guide to Plato′s Republic, and Hugh Benson is editing a Companion to Plato. Early next year we will be publishing David Roochnik′s Introduction to Ancient Greek Philosophy and Mary Louise Gill′s Companion to Ancient Philosophy.

Textul de pe ultima copertă

Plato is one of the most influential authors in the history of ideas and his best known work, The Republic –– written in his familiar form of dialogue –– is widely regarded as a cornerstone of Western philosophy. Understanding Plato s Republic provides readers with an accessible introduction to the concepts of justice that inform Plato s masterwork, carefully explicating his main argument that we would be better off leading just lives rather than unjust ones. The book examines the basic ideas Plato uses to build up his theory of justice: his theories of forms, function and virtue; his psychology; his analogy between just society and a just person; and the knowledge of good that Plato deemed necessary for governing well. Also discussed are consequences of Plato′s theory of justice, such as the equality of women and his criticisms of democracy.  The book concludes with an insightful discussion of Plato s passionate defense of his ideals of a good and just society and a just person. Informed by over 50 years of teaching experience, Santas lively and engaging writing style makes The Republic accessible to all while remaining faithful to dialogue s philosophical complexity. Understanding Plato′s Republic reveals rich insights into a timeless classic that holds remarkable relevance to the modern world.


Preface xi
1 Introduction: The Style, Main Argument, and Basic Ideas of the Republic 1
1 The Dialogue Style and the Characters 2
2 The Main Argument and Plot of the Republic 5
3 The Fundamental Ideas of the Republic 8
2 Is Justice the Interest of the Rulers? Is It Good for Us? The Challenge of Thrasymachus 15
1 Why does Thrasymachus Think that Justice is the Interest of the Rulers? 16
2 Socrates Refutations of Thrasymachus Premises 19
3 Is [the] Justice [of Thrasymachus] Good for Me? 24
4 Thrasymachus Unconvinced, Socrates Dissatisfied. What Has Gone Wrong? 31
3 Justice by Agreement. Is It Good Enough? The Challenge of Plato s Brothers 36
1 What is Justice? Glaucon s Theory of a Social Contract 36
2 Glaucon and Thrasymachus on what Justice is: Results and Methods 41
3 Why should I be Just? 44
4 What is a Just Society? Plato s own Social Ideal 55
1 What is Justice? Socrates Divides the Question 55
2 What is a Just Society? The Problem of Justice, and How Socrates Tries to Solve It 59
3 The Functional Theory of Good and Virtue 63
4 Plato s Defi nitions of Justice and the other Virtues of his Completely Good City 67
5 Return to Plato s Methods for Discovering Justice 71
5 Plato s Ideal of a Just and Good Person 76
1 The Analogy between a Just City and a Just Soul 77
2 Plato s Analysis of the Human Psyche 79
3 Parts of the Human Psyche: Faculties or Agents? 81
4 Just, Temperate, Brave, and Wise Human Souls 89
5 Plato s Ideal of Rationality 93
6 The Virtues and Vices of the City–soul Analogy 100
6 The Equality of Women: Plato s Blindfold 107
1 The Blindfold of Justice 107
2 Does Plato s Justice wear a Blindfold? 109
3 The Gender Blindfold of Plato s Justice 110
4 Was Plato an Advocate of Women s Rights? Was He a Feminist? 114
7 Knowledge and Governing Well: Opinions and Knowledge, Forms and the Good 120
1 Ideals as Standards and their Approximations 120
2 The Paradox of the Philosopher–king: Knowledge and Political Power 122
3 Knowledge and Opinions 124
4 Platonic Forms and Physical Particulars 127
5 Plato s Theory of the Form of the Good 137
6 Knowledge of Good 143
7 How Elitist is Plato s Completely Good City? 146
8 Plato s Criticisms of Democracy and the Democratic Character 158
1 Political Equalities and Economic Inequalities 159
2 Platonic Knowledge and Democratic Ruling 165
3 Plato s Criticisms of Democratic Freedoms 170
4 Plato s Democratic Character: Freedom and Equality in the Human Psyche 174
5 Plato s Criticisms of his Democratic Character 177
9 Plato s Defense of his Social and Psychic Justice 187
1 Is Plato s Social Justice Justice at all? 189
2 Is Plato s Political Justice Better for me than the Justice of Thrasymachus or the Justice of Plato s Brothers? 192
3 Is Plato s Political Justice Good for All the Citizens? 194
4 Plato s Defense of his Just Person: The Sachs Problem 202
5 The Defense of Justice as the Health of the Soul 208
6 The Defense of the Just Life as the Pleasantest 212
Bibliography 220
Index 227


"Santas′s long career in philosophy and in the classroom has resulted in a wonderful new reading of Plato′s Republic. The analysis is close, fresh, and revealing, and at the same time remarkably concise . . . Summing Up: Recommended. Lower–division undergraduates through faculty." (Choice, 1July 2011)  

Notă biografică

Gerasimos Santas is Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus, at the University of California, Irvine. He has taught courses in Ancient Greek Philosophy, Plato′s Republic, and Ehics for fifty years in American Colleges and Universities. He is author of Socrates (1979), Plato and Freud (1988), Goodness and Justice (2001), and editor of The Blackwell Guide to Plato′s Republic (2006).