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An Analysis of Plato's The Republic





ISBN 9781912127870
Published August 7, 2017 by Macat Library
95 Pages

 
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Book Description

The Republic is Plato's most complete and incisive work – a detailed study of the problem of how best to ensure that justice exists in a real society, rather than as merely the product of an idealized philosophical construct.

The work considers several competing definitions of justice, and looks closely not only at what exactly a "just life" should be, but also at the ways in which society can organise itself in ways that maximise the opportunities for every member to live justly. Much of the discussion is via imagined dialogues, giving Plato the opportunity to deploy the tools of Socratic debate to remarkable effect; nowhere else, it can be argued, is the Socratic dialectic better exemplified than in The Republic.

In large measure, Plato's success is the product of the acute analytical ability that he demonstrates throughout his surviving oeuvre. No one is better at understanding the relationships between the various parts of a successful argument than Plato, and The Republic also demonstrates the Greek philosopher has few peers when it comes to looking for and highlighting the core assumptions that underlie an argument. The demolition of competing views that Plato puts into the mouth of Socrates is based on a series of relentless interventions and counter-examples that this mastery makes possible.

Combining analytical skills with great powers of reasoning to produce a well-structured solution that deals emphatically with counter-arguments, Plato crafts one of the most enduring works of philosophy in the entire western canon.

Table of Contents

Ways in to the Text  Who was Plato?  What does The Republic Say?  Why does The Republic Matter?  Section 1: Influences  Module 1: The Author and the Historical Context  Module 2: Academic Context  Module 3: The Problem  Module 4: The Author's Contribution  Section 2: Ideas  Module 5: Main Ideas  Module 6: Secondary Ideas  Module 7: Achievement  Module 8: Place in the Author's Work  Section 3: Impact  Module 9: The First Responses  Module 10: The Evolving Debate  Module 11: Impact and Influence Today  Module 12: Where Next?  Glossary of Terms  People Mentioned in the Text  Works Cited

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Author(s)

Biography

Dr James Orr holds a DPhil in the philosophy of religion from the University of Cambridge. He is currently the McDonald Postdoctoral Fellow in Theology, Ethics, and Public Life at Christ Church College, Oxford.