SparkNotes: Plato (c. 427– c. 347 B.C.): Republic

This brings us to the spring and summer of 399, to Socrates’s trialand execution. Twice in Plato’s dialogues (Symposium 173b,Theaetetus 142c–143a), fact-checking with Socrates took placeas his friends sought to commit his conversations to writing before hewas executed. [spring 399 Theaetetus] Prior to theaction in the Theaetetus, a young poet named Meletus hadcomposed a document charging Socrates with the capital crime ofirreverence (asebeia): failure to show due piety toward thegods of Athens. This he delivered to Socrates in the presence ofwitnesses, instructing Socrates to present himself before the kingarchon within four days for a preliminary hearing (the same magistratewould later preside at the pre-trial examination and the trial). Atthe end of theTheaetetus, Socrates was on his way to that preliminaryhearing. As a citizen, he had the right to countersue, the right toforgo the hearing, allowing the suit to proceed uncontested, and theright to exile himself voluntarily, as the personified laws laterremind him (Crito 52c). Socrates availed himself of none ofthese rights of citizenship. Rather, he set out to enter a plea andstopped at a gymnasium to talk to some youngsters about mathematicsand knowledge.

A summary of Republic in 's Plato (c

Plato, the author of Republic, uses his brother Glaucon to tell the Myth of the Lydian Shepherd.

Music in Plato’s Republic | Theory of Music

In this paper, I will look into the Republic, one of the books of Plato that resides heavily on defining an answer to the meaning of Justice, and try to find an absolute definition....

Plato : The Republic | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Although these propositions are often identified by Plato's readersas forming a large part of the core of his philosophy, many of hisgreatest admirers and most careful students point out that few, if any,of his writings can accurately be described as mere advocacy of acut-and-dried group of propositions. Often Plato's works exhibit acertain degree of dissatisfaction and puzzlement with even thosedoctrines that are being recommended for our consideration. Forexample, the forms are sometimes described as hypotheses (see forexample Phaedo). The form of good in particular is describedas something of a mystery whose real nature is elusive and as yetunknown to anyone at all (Republic). Puzzles are raised—and not overtlyanswered—about how any of the forms can be known andhow we are to talk about them without falling into contradiction(Parmenides), or about what it is to know anything(Theaetetus) or to name anything (Cratylus). When onecompares Plato with some of the other philosophers who are often rankedwith him—Aristotle, Aquinas, and Kant, for example—hecan be recognized to be far more exploratory, incompletely systematic,elusive, and playful than they. That, along with his gifts as a writerand as a creator of vivid character and dramatic setting, is one of thereasons why he is often thought to be the ideal author from whom oneshould receive one's introduction to philosophy. His readers are notpresented with an elaborate system of doctrines held to be so fullyworked out that they are in no need of further exploration ordevelopment; instead, what we often receive from Plato is a few keyideas together with a series of suggestions and problems about howthose ideas are to be interrogated and deployed. Readers of a Platonicdialogue are drawn into thinking for themselves about the issuesraised, if they are to learn what the dialogue itself might be thoughtto say about them. Many of his works therefore give their readers astrong sense of philosophy as a living and unfinished subject (perhapsone that can never be completed) to which they themselves will have tocontribute. All of Plato's works are in some way meant to leave furtherwork for their readers, but among the ones that most conspicuously fallinto this category are: Euthyphro, Laches,Charmides, Euthydemus, Theaetetus, andParmenides.

I believe that the best example of ethical egoism is displayed in Book I of Plato's The Republic.

Plato’s Idealistic Republic | kylesartsblog

Socrates’s tribe was Antiochis, and his deme was Alopece(south-southeast of the city wall). Assuming that his stoneworker father,Sophroniscus, kept to the conventions, he carried the infant around thehearth, thereby formally admitting him into the family, five days afterhe was born, named him on the tenth day, presented him to hisphratry (a regional hereditary association) and tookresponsibility for socializing him into the various institutions properto an Athenian male. Literacy had become widespread among males sinceabout 520, and there were a number of elementary schools teaching boysto read and write, along with the traditional gymnastics and music, bythe 480s (Harris 1989, 55), so we can be confident that Socratesreceived a formal education and that Plato was not exaggerating when hedescribed the young Socrates as eagerly acquiring the philosopherAnaxagoras’s books (scrolls, to be more precise, Phaedo98b).

Plato (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Plato makes it clear that both of these processes, one preceding theother, must be part of one's philosophical education. One of hisdeepest methodological convictions (affirmed in Meno,Theaetetus, and Sophist) is that in order to makeintellectual progress we must recognize that knowledge cannot beacquired by passively receiving it from others: rather, we must workour way through problems and assess the merits of competing theorieswith an independent mind. Accordingly, some of his dialogues areprimarily devices for breaking down the reader's complacency, and thatis why it is essential that they come to no positive conclusions;others are contributions to theory-construction, and are therefore bestabsorbed by those who have already passed through the first stage ofphilosophical development. We should not assume that Plato could havewritten the preparatory dialogues only at the earliest stage of hiscareer. Although he may well have begun his writing career by taking upthat sort of project, he may have continued writing these“negative” works at later stages, at the same time that hewas composing his theory-constructing dialogues. For example althoughboth Euthydemus and Charmides are widely assumed tobe early dialogues, they might have been written around the same timeas Symposium and Republic, which are generallyassumed to be compositions of his middle period—or evenlater.

Reason & Persuasion Book Site

In fact, it remains a matter of dispute whether the division ofPlato's works into three periods—early, middle, late—doescorrectly indicate the order of composition, and whether it is auseful tool for the understanding of his thought (See Cooper 1997,vii–xxvii). Of course, it would be wildly implausible to supposethat Plato's writing career began with such complex worksas Laws, Parmenides,Phaedrus, or Republic. In light of widely acceptedassumptions about how most philosophical minds develop, it is likelythat when Plato started writing philosophical works some of the shorterand simpler dialogues were the ones he composed: Laches, orCrito, or Ion (for example). (Similarly,Apology does not advance a complex philosophical agenda orpresuppose an earlier body of work; so that too is likely to have beencomposed near the beginning of Plato's writing career.) Even so, thereis no good reason to eliminate the hypothesis that throughout much ofhis life Plato devoted himself to writing two sorts of dialogues at thesame time, moving back and forth between them as he aged: on the onehand, introductory works whose primary purpose is to show readers thedifficulty of apparently simple philosophical problems, and thereby torid them of their pretensions and false beliefs; and on the other hand,works filled with more substantive philosophical theories supported byelaborate argumentation. Moreover, one could point to features of manyof the “Socratic” dialogues that would justify puttingthem in the latter category, even though the argumentation does notconcern metaphysics or methodology or invoke mathematics—Gorgias, Protagoras, Lysis,Euthydemus, Hippias Major among them.