Toward the end of the astonishing period of Athenian creativity that furnished Western civilization with the greater part of its intellectual, artistic, and political wealth, Plato wrote The Republic, his discussion of the nature and meaning of justice and of the ideal state and its ruler. All subsequent European thinking about these subjects owes its character, directly or indirectly, to this most famous (and most accessible) of the Platonic dialogues. Although he describes a society that looks to some like the ideal human community and to others like a totalitarian nightmare, in the course of his description Plato raises enduringly relevant questions about politics, art, education, and the general conduct of life. The translation is by A. D. Lindsay.
Plato, with Socrates and Aristotle, is the founder of the Western intellectual tradition. Like his mentor Socrates, he was essentially a practical philosopher who found the abstract theory and visionary schemes of many contemporary thinkers misguided and sterile. He was… More about Plato
“If our world and Homer’s are no longer the same, that is largely because of Plato, and perhaps most of all because of Plato’s most famous book, The Republic. This work was its author’s main weapon in his fight to forge a new world, to replace the quarrelsome magnificence of Achilles and Odysseus with the rational grandeur of Socrates . . . [The Republic] does not simply underlie some of our more abstruse theories. It is part of the fabric of our common sense.” –from the Introduction by Alexander Nehamas