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The Republic (Penguin Classics) [Paperback]

Plato , Desmond Lee
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

28 Nov 1974
The Republic is arguably the greatest of Plato's dialogues. Although its subject is the ideal state, it encompasses education, psychology, ethics and politics. In the Republic's central passage, Plato uses myth to explore the nature of reality, conveying a vision of the human predicament and the role of philosophy in setting us free. He imagines a cave whose inhabitants are chained from birth watching a shadow-play that they take for reality. The role of philosophy, and more specifically what Plato calls dialectic, is to turn us away from the shadow play and orient ourselves towards the real. This is the essence of the pursuit of wisdom without which an ideal state is impossible. Few modern readers will agree with everything that Plato says, yet his rigorous argument and poetic vision still have the power to stimulate and challenge. This enduring power has made The Republic one of the foundation stones of western culture.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Product details

  • Paperback: 469 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; 2nd edition (28 Nov 1974)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140440488
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140440485
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 412,011 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Plato (c. 427-347 BC), was an Athenian philosopher-dramatist. Born into a wealthy and prominent family, he grew up during the conflict between Athens and the Peloponnesian states which engulfed the Greek world from 431 to 404 BC. Following its turbulent aftermath, he was deeply affected by the condemnation and execution of his revered master Socrates (469-399) on charges of irreligion and corrupting the young. In revulsion from political activity, Plato devoted his life to the pursuit of philosophy. Plato founded the Academy, an early ancestor of the modern university, devoted to philosophical and mathematical enquiry, and to the education of future rulers or 'philosopher-kings'. The Academy's most celebrated member was the young Aristotle (384-322), who studied there for the last twenty years of Plato's life. Their works mark the highest peak of philosophical achievement in antiquity, and both continue to rank among the greatest philosophers of all time.

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About the Author

Plato (c.427-347 BC) stands with Socrates and Aristotle as one of the shapers of the whole intellectual tradition of the West. He founded in Athens the Academy, the first permanent institution devoted to philosophical research and teaching, and theprototype of all Western universities. Desmond Lee was a fellow and tutor of Classics at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and later became President of St Hughes Hall, Cambridge. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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I went down yesterday to the Piraeus with Glaucon, son of Ariston. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
93 of 100 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very demanding but the effort pays off. 12 Jan 2000
By A Customer
I've owned two translations of this book and the Lee translation is much easier to read than the Waterfield translation by virtue of keeping readers notes as footnotes rather than placing them at the back of the book and just by the general style of the English used. There are also excellent notes and diagrams about the concepts in the book which will be useful to anyone studying this book as an academic text. This book is a story but it would never make a good film as it is all talk and no action. The main discussion point is what makes the ideal society. According to Socrates (the main speaker) it would be totalitarian and undemocratic, Most people will disagree with this but it is a well argued point that shows that politicians in any age can never be anything but corrupt and challenges views that people may have about the correctness of democracy. This is more than just a book on politics. Society is also used as a metaphor for the individual and this book explores the nature of morality and living a just life as well as the nature of true goodness and true beauty. The concepts in this book are not easily grasped and it requires some re-reading but the effort pays off in the end. Some of the ideas may seem a bit obscure but this book still holds its own after two and a half thousand years.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good edition 4 April 2007
Certainly a must read for anyone interested in politics or philosophy. This is a cornerstone of western philosophy and deserves to be read far into the future. Relatively clear, easy to understand and a joy to read.

This Penguin Classics edition also has an excellent introduction (spanning more than 50 pages), and very useful translation notes. Each new chapter has a brief introduction explaning the main points and ideas running through the chapter. Given the price, this edition is a bargain.
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44 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely splendid! 4 Oct 2001
By A Customer
Describing "The Republic" in such few words is somewhat difficult, as it has so much to say. I started reading the book only a short while ago and i have enjoyed every aspect of it. It is amazing how you can relate all of the issues in the story to your own life! Please please, do take your time in reading this book, because it can be misinterpreted easily. I assure you that this book is not boring, but it is a masterpiece that should definately be read at least once in a life time!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 1 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Takes a lot of head space. But informative.
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