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Encyclopedia > Plato's Republic

The Republic is an influential The term dialogue (or dialog) expresses basically reciprocal conversation between two or more persons. The etymological origins of the word (in Greek concepts like flowing-through meaning) do not neccessarily convey the way in which people have come to use the word. Literature When reported or imitated in writing, dialogue... dialogue by For the computing technology, see PLATO System. Plato (Greek: Πλάτων Plátōn) (c. 427 BC – c. 347 BC) was an immensely influential classical Greek philosopher, student of Socrates, teacher of Aristotle, writer, and founder of the Academy in Athens. Plato, a philodorian... Plato, written in the first half of the (5th century BC - 4th century BC - 3rd century BC - other centuries) (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium AD) Events Invasion of the Celts into Ireland Kingdom of Macedon conquers Persian empire Romans build first aqueduct Chinese use bellows The Scythians are beginning to be absorbed into the Sarmatian... 4th century BC. This This article is about the ancient Greek philosopher. For the Byzantine church historian, see Socrates Scholasticus; for the Brazilian football player, see Sócrates (football player). Socrates Socrates (June 4, 470 – 399 BC) (Greek Σωκράτης Sōkrátēs) was... Socratic dialogue mainly is about Political philosophy is the study of the fundamental questions about the state, government, politics, property, law and the enforcement of a legal code by authority: what they are, why they are needed, what makes a government legitimate, what rights and freedoms it should protect and why, what form it should... political philosophy and Ethics is a general term for what is often described as the science (study) of morality. In philosophy, ethical behavior is that which is good or right. The Western tradition of ethics is sometimes called moral philosophy. This is one part of value theory (axiology) – the other part is... ethics. The political ideas are clarified by picturing a See Utopia (disambiguation) for other meanings of this word Utopia, in its most common and general meaning, refers to a hypothetical perfect society. It has also been used to describe actual communities founded in attempts to create such a society. The adjective utopian is often used to refer to good... utopia. The Republic also contains the famous Platos allegory of the cave is perhaps the best-known of his many metaphors, allegories, and myths. The allegory is told and interpreted at the beginning of Book VII of The Republic (514a-520a). The allegory is probably best presented as a story, and then interpreted—as Plato... allegory of the cave, with which Plato clarifies his According to Platonic realism, universals exist in a realm (often so called) that is separate from space and time; one might say that universals have a sort of ghostly or heavenly mode of existence, but, at least in more modern versions of Platonism, such a description is probably more misleading... theory of (ideal) forms.


"The Republic", which is the usual English translation of the title of this dialogue is, however, a misfit in modern political views: the utopian community pictured in The Republic is in no way what today would be described as a "republic"; on the contrary, it's a quite authoritarian Oligarchy is a form of government where most political power effectively rests with a small segment of society (typically the most powerful, whether by wealth, military strength, ruthlessness, or political influence). The word oligarchy is from the Greek for few and rule. Some political theorists have argued that all societies... oligarchy. Nonetheless, all modern thinking about forms of government and state organisation is somehow indebted to this philosophical work treating, as one of the first, these topics with some level of abstraction. The original title of the work is derived from the Greek word The Republic is perhaps Platos best-known dialogue and one of his most influential. In it, he explains, through the character of Socrates, the fundamentals of his political philosophy (presented, stylistically, via the concept of a Utopia), his ethics, and his theory of universals (the forms)—among other... politeia.

Contents

Setting and dramatis personae

The Republic is one of Plato's longest dialogues, subdivided in 10 books afterwards.


The characters appearing in The Republic are:

  • This article is about the ancient Greek philosopher. For the Byzantine church historian, see Socrates Scholasticus; for the Brazilian football player, see Sócrates (football player). Socrates Socrates (June 4, 470 – 399 BC) (Greek Σωκράτης Sōkrátēs) was... Socrates
  • Glaucon
  • Adeimantus
  • Minor roles for Cephalus, Polemarchus, Thrasymachus and his friend Cleitophon
  • Silent roles for Lysias, Attic orator, was born, according to Dionysius of Halicarnassus and the author of the life ascribed to Plutarch, in 459 BC. This date was evidently obtained by reckoning back from the foundation of Thurii (444 BC), since there was a tradition that Lysias had gone thither at the age... Lysias and Coin depicting the Greco-Bactrian king Euthydemus (230-200 B.C.) Euthydemus was allegedly a native of Magnesia and possible Satrap of Sogdiana, who overturned the dynasty of Diodotus of Bactria and became a Greco-Bactrian king in about 230 BC according to Polybius. Strabo, on the other hand, correlates... Euthydemus (both sons of Cephalus), the brothers of Polemarchus and Charmantides.

The scene of the dialogue is the house of Cephalus at Piraeus, or Peiraeus (Modern Greek: Πειραιά(ς) Pireá(s), Ancient Greek / Katharevousa: Πειραιεύς Pireéfs) is a city in the prefecture of Attica, Greece, located south of Athens. It was the port of the ancient city... Piraeus. The whole dialogue is narrated by Socrates the day after it actually took place, to, amongst others, Timaeus, Hermocrates and Critias is also a work by Plato, see [1] for a translation. Critias, 460-403 BC, was the uncle of Plato, leading member of the Thirty Tyrants, and one of the most violent. He was an associate of Socrates, a fact that did not endear Socrates to the Athenian public... Critias.


Content

Bertrand Russell Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell ( May 18, 1872 – February 2, 1970) was one of the most influential mathematicians, philosophers, and logicians of the modern age, working mostly in the 20th century. A prolific writer, Russell was also a populariser of philosophy and a commentator on... Bertrand Russell sees three parts in Plato's Republic (1):

  • Book I-V: the Utopia part, portraying the ideal community, starting from an attempt to define justice;
  • Book VI-VII: since A philosopher is a person devoted to studying and producing results in philosophy. The word, philosopher, literally means lover of wisdom. Popular Western philosophers in (approximate) historical order Not listed above: (some of) The Presocratics -- Epicurus place after Aristotle --Hellenistic Philosophers -- Cicero -- Avicenna -- Sir Thomas Browne -- Francis Bacon -- Thomas Reid... philosophers are seen as the ideal rulers of such community, this part of the text concentrates on defining what a philosopher is;
  • Book VIII-X: discusses several practical A form of government (also referred to as a system of government or a political system) is a system composed of various people, institutions and their relations in regard to the governance of a state. Definition There are several definitions of the political system, some of them similar to those... forms of government, their pro's and con's.

The core of the second part is discussed in Illustration of Platos cave Platos allegory of the cave is perhaps the best-known of his many metaphors, allegories, and myths. The allegory is told and interpreted at the beginning of Book VII of The Republic (514a-520a). The allegory is probably best presented as a story, and... Plato's Allegory of the Cave, and articles related to According to Platonic realism, universals exist in a realm (often so called) that is separate from space and time; one might say that universals have a sort of ghostly or heavenly mode of existence, but, at least in more modern versions of Platonism, such a description is probably more misleading... Plato's theory of (ideal) forms. The third part, that also concentrates on aspects like Education encompasses teaching and learning specific skills, and also something less tangible but more profound: the imparting of knowledge, good judgement and wisdom. Education has as one of its fundamental goals the imparting of culture from generation to generation (see socialization). Overview The education of an individual human begins at... education, is in that sense very related to Plato's dialogue The Laws, see Laws (Plato)


Definition of justice

The question with which The Republic sets out is to define justice. Given the difficulty of this task, Socrates and his interlocutors are led into a discussion of justice in the state, which they see as the same as justice in the person, but on a grander (and therefore easier to discuss) scale. Because of this, some critics (such as Julia Annas) interpret Plato's ideal of a just state as an allegory for the ideal of the just person.


Justice is defined as a state where everyone is to do their own work while not interfering with the work of others. This conception of justice, striking to the modern reader, is closely linked to the Greek conception of fate or necessity, such as that embodied later in This article needs cleanup. Please edit this article to conform to a higher standard of article quality. Aristotle (sculpture) Aristotle (Greek Αριστοτέλης Aristotelēs) (384 BC – March 7, 322 BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher. Along with Plato... Aristotle's final cause. This definition of justice leads to a social structure radically different from most previous and subsequent states.


The ideal form of government

First, the flaws of a This article deals with democracy in its modern sense. For other meanings, see Democracy (disambiguation). Democracy is a form of government under which the power to alter the laws and structures of government lies, ultimately, with the citizenry. Under such a system, legislative decisions are made by the people themselves... democratic form of government are criticised, amongst others the susceptibility of a democratic state to A demagogue (sometimes spelled demagog) is a leader who obtains power by appealing to the gut feelings of the public, usually by powerful use of rhetoric and propaganda. H. L. Mencken defined a demagogue as one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be... demagogues, it being ruled by unfit "barbarians", etc. Then, the ideal city is depicted as being governed by philosopher-kings; disinterested persons who are to rule not for their personal enjoyment but for the good of the City-State. Most of what we know about Socrates comes from what was written about him by Plato. Socrates is a speaker in most of Platos dialogues. However, it is widely believed that only some of Platos dialogues are authentic in the sense that they are actual transcripts of dialogues... Socrates/Plato points out the human tendency to This article is about political corruption. For other uses, see Corruption (disambiguation) In broad terms, political corruption is the misuse of public office for private gain. All forms of government are susceptible in practice to political corruption. Degrees of corruption vary greatly, from minor uses of influence and patronage to... corruption by Sociologists usually define power as the ability to impose ones will on others, even if those others resist in some way. By power is meant that opportunity existing within a social relationship which permits one to carry out ones own will even against resistance and regardless of the... power and thus A tyrant (from Greek τυραννος) is a usurper of rightful power, possessing absolute power and ruling by tyranny. In the original Greek meaning tyrant carried no ethical censure, a tyrant was anyone who overturned the established government of a city-state, usually through... tyranny: therefore ruling should be left to a certain class of people whose only purpose is to govern in what is deemed a just manner, and who are somehow immune to corruption.


The ideal society of The Republic is hierarchical, where the social classes are largely static with only a marginal permeability. In addition to the ruling class of philosopher-kings, there is also to be a military class, and a lower class of the common people. A number of provisions aim at avoiding to make the people weak: among those, censorship of certain kinds of music, poetry and theatre, a rigid education system, and the abolishment of riches. These apply to all three classes, and the restrictions placed on the philosopher-kings and the warriors are much more severe than those placed on the common workers, because the rulers must be kept away from any source of corruption.


Being as well an educator, a parent and a worker is seen as incompatible with the definition of justice. This leads to the abandonment of the typical family, and as such no child may know his or her parents and the parents may not know their own children. The rulers assemble couples for reproduction, based on breeding criteria. Education is thereafter relegated to specialized caregivers. Thus, stable population is achieved through eugenism and social cohesion is projected to be high because familiar links are extended towards everyone in the City.


Theory of universals

The Republic contains Illustration of Platos cave Platos allegory of the cave is perhaps the best-known of his many metaphors, allegories, and myths. The allegory is told and interpreted at the beginning of Book VII of The Republic (514a-520a). The allegory is probably best presented as a story, and... Plato's Allegory of the cave with which he explains his concept of Plato spoke of forms (sometimes capitalized: The Forms) in formulating his solution to the problem of universals. The forms, according to Plato, are roughly speaking archetypes or abstract representations of the many types and properties (that is, of universals) of things we see all around us. There are, therefore, on... The Forms as an answer to the The problem of universals is a conventional term given to what is in fact a nest of intertwined problems, some within the domain of cognitive psychology, others within that of epistemology, still others within ontology. In other words, this problem involves how we think, how we know, and what are... problem of universals.


Reception

Ancient Greece

The idea of writing treatises on systems of government was followed some decades later by Plato's most prominent pupil This article needs cleanup. Please edit this article to conform to a higher standard of article quality. Aristotle (sculpture) Aristotle (Greek Αριστοτέλης Aristotelēs) (384 BC – March 7, 322 BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher. Along with Plato... Aristotle. He wrote a treatise for which he used the same The Greek language (Greek Ελληνικά, IPA // – Hellenic) is an Indo-European language with a documented history of some 3,000 years. Ancient Greek in its various forms was the language both of classical Greek civilisation and of the origins of Christianity, and... Greek word " The Republic is perhaps Platos best-known dialogue and one of his most influential. In it, he explains, through the character of Socrates, the fundamentals of his political philosophy (presented, stylistically, via the concept of a Utopia), his ethics, and his theory of universals (the forms)—among other... politeia" in the title as Plato had done for his dialogue on the ideal (city-)state. The title of Aristotle's work is however conventionally translated to "politics": see Politics (Aristotle).


Aristotle's treatise was not written in dialogue format: it systematises many of the concepts brought forward by Plato in his Republic, in some cases leading the author to a different conclusion as to what options are the most preferable.


Ancient Rome

Cicero

The English translation of the title of Plato's dialogue is derived from For other uses see Cicero (disambiguation) Marcus Tullius Cicero (January 3, 106 BC - December 7, 43 BC) was an orator and statesman of Ancient Rome, and is generally considered the greatest Latin prose stylist. Cicero at about age 60, from an ancient marble bust Biography Cicero was born in Arpinum... Cicero's De re publica, a dialogue written some three centuries later. Cicero's dialogue imitates the style of the Platonic dialogues, and treats many of the topics touched upon in Plato's Republic. Storybook illustration depicting Scipio as the reluctant servant of the Senate as he orchestrated the genocide of the Carthaginians. Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus Africanus the younger (185 - 129 BC), was the younger son of Lucius Aemilius Paullus Macedonicus, the conqueror of Macedonia. He fought when a youth of seventeen by... Scipio Africanus, the main character of Cicero's dialogue expresses his esteem for Plato and Socrates when they are talking about the " For the Estonian political party, see Union for the Republic - Res Publica. Res publica is a Latin phrase, made of res + publica, literally meaning the thing of the people. The term usually refers to a thing that is not considered to be private property, but which is rather held in... Res publica". "Res publica" is however not an exact translation of the Greek word "politeia" that Plato used in the title of his dialogue: "politeia" is a general term indicating the various forms of government that could be used and were used in a Polis or city-state.


While in Plato's Republic the character Socrates and his friends discuss the nature of an ideal city and are not so much engaged in analysing the state they are living in (which was Athenian democracy - Wikipedia /**/ @import /skins/monobook/IE50Fixes.css; @import /skins/monobook/IE55Fixes.css; @import /skins/monobook/IE60Fixes.css; /**/ Athenian democracy From Wikipedia The Athenian democracy was a democratic government in the city-state Athens and its surrounding lands in Attica, Greece; usually considered to have lasted from the early- 6th... Athenian democracy - Plato's Laws is more concrete on that point), in Cicero's De re publica all comments, directly or indirectly, are about (the improvement of) the organisation of the state the participants live in, which was the See also Roman Republic (18th century) and Roman Republic (19th century). The Roman Republic (Latin: Res Publica Romanorum) was the representative government of Rome and its territories from 510 BC until the establishment of the Roman Empire, sometimes placed at 44 BC (the year of Caesars appointment as perpetual... Roman Republic in its final stages.


Critique

In Antiquity Plato's works were largely acclaimed, still, some commentators had another view. This article is about the historian Tacitus. For the Emperor Tacitus, see Marcus Claudius Tacitus. Gaius Cornelius Tacitus Publius or Gaius Cornelius Tacitus (c. 55–c. 117), Roman orator, lawyer, and senator, is considered one of antiquitys greatest historians. His major works—the Annals and the Histories... Tacitus, not mentioning Plato or The Republic nominally in this passage (so his critique extends, to a certain degree, to Cicero's Republic and This article needs cleanup. Please edit this article to conform to a higher standard of article quality. Aristotle (sculpture) Aristotle (Greek Αριστοτέλης Aristotelēs) (384 BC – March 7, 322 BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher. Along with Plato... Aristotle's Politics is the process and method of decision-making for groups of human beings. Although it is generally applied to governments, politics is also observed in all human group interactions including corporate, academic, and religious. Political science is the study of political behavior and examines the acquisition and application of... Politeia as well, to name only a few), noted the following (Ann. IV, 33):

  Nam cunctas nationes et urbes populus aut primores aut singuli regunt: delecta ex iis (his) et consociata (constituta) rei publicae forma laudari facilius quam evenire, vel si evenit, haud diuturna esse potest.   Indeed, a nation or city is ruled by the people, or by an upper class, or by a monarch. A government system that is invented from a choice of these same components is sooner idealised than realised; and even if realised, there'll be no future for it.

The point Tacitus develops in the paragraphs immediately preceding and following that quote is that the minute analysis and description of how a real state was goverened, like he does in his Annals, however boring the related facts might be (...if, for example, the regnants refuse to declench a spectacular war,...), has more practical lessons about good vs. bad governance, than philosophical treatises on the ideal form of government have.(2)


Augustinus

In the pivotal era of Rome's move from its ancient Polytheism is belief in, or worship of, multiple gods or divinities. The word comes from the Greek words poly+theoi, literally many gods. Most ancient religions were polytheistic, holding to pantheons of traditional deities, often accumulated over centuries of cultural interchange and experience. The belief in many gods does not... polytheist religion to christianity, St. Augustine of Hippo as pictured during the Renaissance Aurelius Augustinus, Augustine of Hippo ( November 13, 354 – August 28, 430) is a saint and the pre-eminent Doctor of the Church according to Roman Catholicism; he was the eldest son of Saint Monica. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, which... Augustine wrote his magnum opus This article is about the work by St. Augustine. For the movie, see City of God (movie) The City of God (Latin De Civitate Dei) is a text written by St. Augustine that deals with issues concerning God, martyrdom, the Jews, and other Christian philosophies. The City of God was... The City of God: again, the references to Plato, Aristotle and Cicero and their visions of the ideal state were legio: Augustinus equally described a model of the "ideal city", in his case the eternal Jerusalem ( Modern Hebrew: יְרוּשָׁלַיִם Yerushaláyim, Biblical and trad. Sephardi Hebrew: יְרוּשָׁלַםִ, Arabic: القدس al-Quds, see also names of Jerusalem) is... Jerusalem, using a visionary language not unlike that of the preceding philosophers.


Utopias

Portrait of Sir Thomas More by Hans Holbein the Younger Sir Thomas More (7 February 1478–6 July 1535), posthumously known also as Saint Thomas More, was an English lawyer, author, and politician. During his lifetime he earned a reputation as a leading humanist scholar and occupied many public... Thomas More, when writing his See Utopia (disambiguation) for other meanings of this word Utopia, in its most common and general meaning, refers to a hypothetical perfect society. It has also been used to describe actual communities founded in attempts to create such a society. The adjective utopian is often used to refer to good... Utopia, used the same technique of using the portrayal of an "utopia" as the carrier of his thoughts about the ideal society - many more writers in this vein would follow.


Open Society?

Most 20th century commentators of Plato's Republic advise against reading it as a (would-be) manual for good governance: most forms of government discussed in The Republic bear little resemblance to more recent state organisations like (modern) In a broad definition a republic is a state or country that is led by people that dont found their power status on any principle beyond the control of the people living in that state or country. This definition encompasses most of the specific definitions that are (or were... republics, A constitutional monarchy is a form of government established under a constitutional system which acknowledges a hereditary or elected monarch as head of state. Modern constitutional monarchies usually implement the concept of trias politica, and have the monarch as the (symbolic) head of the executive branch. Where a monarch holds... constitutional monarchies, etc. The concepts of democracy and of Utopia as depicted in The Republic are tied to the A city-state is a region controlled exclusively by a city. City-states were common in the ancient period. A city state was sovereign, although many cities were joined in formal or informal leagues under a high king. Many historical empires or leagues were formed by the right of conquest... city-states of Ancient Greece is the term used to describe the Greek-speaking world in ancient times. It refers not only to the territory of the present Greek state, but also to those areas settled in ancient times by Greeks: Cyprus, the Aegean coast of Turkey (then known as Ionia), Sicily and... ancient Greece and their relevance to modern states is questionable.


Apart from this common ground the analyses heavily fork...


Critique

The city portrayed in The Republic struck many critics as unduly harsh, rigid, and unfree; indeed, as a kind of precursor to modern The concept of Totalitarianism is a typology or ideal-type used by some political scientists to encapsulate the characteristics of a number of twentieth century regimes that mobilized entire populations in support of the state or an ideology. According to these historical approximations, totalitarian regimes are more repressive of pluralism... totalitarianism. Karl Popper Sir Karl Raimund Popper (July 28, 1902 - September 17, 1994), was an Austrian-born, British philosopher of science. He is counted among the most influential philosophers of science of the 20th century, and also wrote extensively on social and political philosophy. Popper is perhaps best known for repudiating... Karl Popper gave a voice, founded on scholar analysis, to that view in his 1945 was a common year starting on Monday (link will take you to calendar). Events January January 5 - The Soviet Union recognizes the new pro-Soviet government of Poland. January 7 - British General Bernard Montgomery holds a press conference in which he claims credit for victory in the Battle of... 1945 The Open Society and Its Enemies is an influential two-volume work by Karl Popper, written during the second world war. Failing to find a publisher in the United States, it was first printed in London, in 1945. In The Open Society and Its Enemies, Popper developed a critique of... The Open Society and its Enemies. Not so surprising that the Orwellian describes a situation or idea similar to the fiction of George Orwell; particularly his political novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. Nineteen Eighty-Four told the story of a grim future in which all human beings were slaves to one of three totalitarian one-party states. As a result, the term... Orwellian A dystopia (or alternatively cacotopia or kakotopia) is a fictional society, usually portrayed as existing in a future time, when the conditions of life are extremely bad due to deprivation, oppression, or terror. Science fiction, particularly post-apocalyptic science fiction and cyberpunk, often feature dystopias. Social critics, especially postmodern social... dystopia depicted in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (sometimes 1984) is a darkly satirical political novel by George Orwell. The story takes place in a nightmarish dystopia, in which an omnipresent State enforces perfect conformity among members of a totalitarian Party through indoctrination, propaganda, fear, and ruthless punishment. The novel introduced the concepts of the... 1984 (appearing a few years later) had many characteristics in common with Plato's "ideal" state.


Other view

Not all opinions see Plato and his Republic in that same light, for example Hans-Georg Gadamer Hans-Georg Gadamer (February 11, 1900 – March 13, 2002) was a German philosopher best known for his 1960 magnum opus, Truth and Method (Wahrheit und Methode). Life Gadamer was born in Marburg, Germany, as the son of a pharmaceutical chemist who later also served as the... Hans-Georg Gadamer in his 1934 classic, Plato und die Dichter (and several other works), where the utopic city of the The Republic is seen as a For heuristics in computer science, see heuristic (computer science) Heuristic is the art and science of discovery and invention. The word comes from the same Greek root (`ευρισκω) as eureka, meaning to find. A heuristic is a way of directing your attention fruitfully. The... heuristic See Utopia (disambiguation) for other meanings of this word Utopia, in its most common and general meaning, refers to a hypothetical perfect society. It has also been used to describe actual communities founded in attempts to create such a society. The adjective utopian is often used to refer to good... utopia that should not be pursued or even be used as an orientation-point for political development. Rather, its purpose is said to be to show how things would have to be connected, and how one thing would lead to another — often with highly problematic results — if one would opt for certain principles and carry them through rigorously. This interpretation argues that large passages in Plato's writing are ironic (which, of course, an unusually high level of proficiency in ancient The Greek language (Greek Ελληνικά, IPA – Hellenic) is an Indo-European language with a documented history of some 3,000 years. Ancient Greek in its various forms was the language both of classical Greek civilisation and of the origins of Christianity, and... Greek is required to detect). In this interpretation Plato's entire oeuvre would be much less The concept of Totalitarianism is a typology or ideal-type used by some political scientists to encapsulate the characteristics of a number of twentieth century regimes that mobilized entire populations in support of the state or an ideology. According to these historical approximations, totalitarian regimes are more repressive of pluralism... totalitarian: it however also modifies the interpretation of the imagined city of Plato's Republic from an exclusive optimist Utopia, to an (at least) partial A dystopia (or alternatively cacotopia or kakotopia) is a fictional society, usually portrayed as existing in a future time, when the conditions of life are extremely bad due to deprivation, oppression, or terror. Science fiction, particularly post-apocalyptic science fiction and cyberpunk, often feature dystopias. Social critics, especially postmodern social... Dystopia.


One of the most convincing arguments against this interpretation is that Plato's academy has produced a number of A tyrant (from Greek τυραννος) is a usurper of rightful power, possessing absolute power and ruling by tyranny. In the original Greek meaning tyrant carried no ethical censure, a tyrant was anyone who overturned the established government of a city-state, usually through... tyrants, despite being well-versed in Greek and having direct contact with Plato himself. Among his direct students were Klearchos, tyrant of Heraklia, Chairon, tyrant of Pellene, Eurostatos and Choriskos, tyrants of Skepsis, Hermias, tyrant of Atarneos and Assos, and Kallipos, tyrant of Syracuse, Italy Syracuse, New York Syracuse is the name of two major cities in the world. The original Syracuse, Italy on the Italian island of Sicily The city Syracuse, New York in the United States There are also six small municipalities in the United States by this name: Syracuse, Indiana... Syracuse. Against this, however, it can be argued, first, that the question is whether these men became "tyrants" through studying in the Academy (but rather that it was an elite student body, part of which would wind up in the seats of power, that was sent to study there), and, second, that it is by no means obvious that they were tyrants in the modern, or any totalitarian, sense.


Practicality

Both views have something in common regarding their conclusion: whether it be by the near-to-impossibility to grasp the often inverted meanings of the ancient Greek for modern readers, or just plainly because Plato tries to steer towards a no-good system of government, the practical value of The Republic seems quasi nihil as guidelines for real-life good governance – unless as a set of examples of what should be avoided. Plato scholars, on the other hand, see it as their task to provide the background knowledge that is needed to enable a fair understanding of what was meant by the author of The Republic. Then the uniqueness of The Republic shows up in the way it clarifies genuine connections of political causes and effects in real life, precisely by providing them within a heuristically utopian context.


Nonetheless Bertrand Russell Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell ( May 18, 1872 – February 2, 1970) was one of the most influential mathematicians, philosophers, and logicians of the modern age, working mostly in the 20th century. A prolific writer, Russell was also a populariser of philosophy and a commentator on... Bertrand Russell argues that at least in intent, and all in all not so far from what was possible in ancient Greek city-states, the form of government portrayed in The Republic was meant as a practical one by Plato.(3)


21st Century

By the end of the 20th century, some authors started again to exploit See Utopia (disambiguation) for other meanings of this word Utopia, in its most common and general meaning, refers to a hypothetical perfect society. It has also been used to describe actual communities founded in attempts to create such a society. The adjective utopian is often used to refer to good... Utopia/ A dystopia (or alternatively cacotopia or kakotopia) is a fictional society, usually portrayed as existing in a future time, when the conditions of life are extremely bad due to deprivation, oppression, or terror. Science fiction, particularly post-apocalyptic science fiction and cyberpunk, often feature dystopias. Social critics, especially postmodern social... Dystopia ambiguities in their descriptions of imaginary societies, as Plato apparently had done in his Republic. A book in this vein is The Nobel Prize in literature is awarded annually to an author from any country who has produced the most outstanding work of an idealistic tendency. The work in this case generally refers to an authors work as a whole, not to any individual work, though individual works are sometimes... Nobel Prize winner José Saramago José Saramago (born November 16, 1922,) is a Portuguese writer, playwright, and journalist. He usually presents subversive perspectives of historical events in his works, trying to underline the human factor behind historical events, instead of presenting the usual official historical narratives. Some works of his can... José Saramago's Ensaio sobre a Lucidez ("Treatise on Lucidity", 2004 is a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. It was designated the: International Year of Rice (by the United Nations) International Year to Commemorate the Struggle against Slavery and its Abolition (by UNESCO) Elections were held in 73 countries during 2004. See a list of elections... 2004): an election count turns out 83% blank votes in one city of the country, without discernable reason. Is this democracy at its best or just a nightmare? Although the book is clearly meant as a political statement, it's left to the reader's "lucidity" to decide on the interpretation.


See also

Notes

Note (1): History of Western Philosophy, begin of Book I, part 2, ch. 14.


Note (2): This text by Tacitus also mirrors the first paragraphs of Polybius (ca 203 BC - 120 BC) was a Greek historian of the Mediterranean world, especially the rise of the Roman Republic, which he attributed to Roman fitness and to the excellence of Roman civic and military institutions. He is most valued for his account of the Second and Third Punic... Polybius' Histories: Tacitus clearly sides with Polybius who also touts the importance of studying real history for improving knowledge on good governance - However Polybius can boast in these same opening paragraphs his story is about glorious facts and warfare; Tacitus argues the fact remains true, even if the story is less glorious. For this reason Tacitus' critique is only partially directed at For other uses see Cicero (disambiguation) Marcus Tullius Cicero (January 3, 106 BC - December 7, 43 BC) was an orator and statesman of Ancient Rome, and is generally considered the greatest Latin prose stylist. Cicero at about age 60, from an ancient marble bust Biography Cicero was born in Arpinum... Cicero, who learnt not less from Polybius and war heroes like Scipio, as from the more philosophical/utopian Greek writers.


Note (3): History of Western Philosophy, end of Book I, part 2, ch. 14.


References

  • Text of The Republic:
    • Plato The Republic, (New The acronym CUP could be used to mean: Cambridge University Press Canadian University Press, the press association of Canadian student newspapers The Committee of Union and Progress: a Turkish political party The ISO 4217 code for the Cuban Peso This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists... CUP translation into English) ISBN 052148443X
    • Plato Respublica, (New OUP edition of Greek text) ISBN 0199248494
  • On The Republic:
    • Bertrand Russell Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell ( May 18, 1872 – February 2, 1970) was one of the most influential mathematicians, philosophers, and logicians of the modern age, working mostly in the 20th century. A prolific writer, Russell was also a populariser of philosophy and a commentator on... Bertrand Russell's History of Western Philosophy and its connection with political and social circumstances from the earliest times to the present day, ( 1946 was a common year starting on Tuesday. (see link for calendar) Events January January 4 - Theodore Schurch becomes the last person to be executed for offences committed under the Treachery Act of 1940 January 7 - Allied recognize Austrian republic with 1937 borders - the country is divided into four occupation... 1946), devotes two chapters to Plato's Republic, plus a preliminary one on the origin of Plato's concepts: Book I, Part 2, Ch. 13-15.

External links

  • Text of The Republic:
    • At Project Gutenberg (PG) was launched by Michael Hart in 1971 in order to provide a library, on what would later become the Internet, of free electronic versions (sometimes called e-texts) of physically existing books. The texts provided are mostly in the public domain, either because they were never under... Project Gutenberg: Benjamin Jowett (April 15, 1817 - October 1, 1893) was an English scholar and theologian, master of Balliol College, Oxford. He was born in Camberwell. His father was one of a Yorkshire family who, for three generations, had been supporters of the Evangelical movement in the Church of England. His mother... Benjamin Jowett's translation (including an elaborate introduction) : e-text N° 1497 (http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/1497)
    • At The Perseus Project is a digital library project of Tufts University that assembles digital collections of humanities resources. It is hosted by the Department of Classics. The project was founded in 1987 to collect and present materials for study of ancient Greece. It has published two CD-ROMs and established... Perseus Project: Annotated text (English and Greek) (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=Plat.+Rep.+toc)
    • At MIT redirects here. For other uses, see MIT (disambiguation). The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT, is a research institution and university located in the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts directly across the Charles River from Bostons Back Bay district. MIT is a world leader in science and technology, as... MIT's "Internet Classics Archive": Benjamin Jowett's translation (http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/republic.html)
    • RSS, pronounced arr-ess-ess, is a web syndication protocol primarily used by news websites and weblogs. It is a family of XML-based standards with the following members: Really Simple Syndication (RSS 0.9x and RSS 2.x) RDF Site Summary (RSS 0.9 and 1.0) History The... RSS version of The Republic (http://rss.duchs.com/plato/the-republic/)
  • Ongoing discussion of Plato's text (and Popper's analysis):
    • On Bookshelved Wiki (http://bookshelved.org/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?TheRepublic)
    • On Meatball Wiki (http://www.usemod.com/cgi-bin/mb.pl?TheRepublic)
  • David Stansfield's ( Neoplatonism (also Neo-Platonism) is an ancient school of philosophy beginning in the 3rd century A.D. It was based on the teachings of Plato and Platonists; but it interpreted Plato in many new ways, such that Neoplatonism was quite different from what Plato taught, though not many Neoplatonists would... Neo-Platonist?) Serving Council of Philosopher Kings (http://servingcouncil.org)

  Results from FactBites:
 
Republic (government) - MSN Encarta (1550 words)
Republic (government) (Latin res publica, literally “the public thing”), form of state based on the concept that sovereignty resides in the people, who delegate the power to rule in their behalf to elected representatives and officials.
Plato constructed his republic on what he considered the basic elements or characteristics of the human soul: the appetitive, the spirited, and the philosophical.
Accordingly, his ideal republic consisted of three distinct groups: a commercial class formed by those dominated by their appetites; a spirited class, administrators and soldiers, responsible for the execution of the laws; and the guardians or philosopher-kings, who would be the lawmakers.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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