About the Book
Since the mid-nineteenth century, the Republic has been Plato’s most famous and widely read dialogue. It presents the thoughts of Plato in the form of a conversation, between Socrates, Plato, and three different interlocutors. The conversation is themed to be an exploration into the notion of a perfect community, and the ideal individual within it. In their discussion, many intriguing questions about the nature of goodness, reality, and knowledge are raised. The interlocutors extensively debate the answers to these among themselves. This historical debate forms the cornerstone of western philosophy. Plato starts off with defining a justice that appeals to human psychology, rather than to perceived behaviour. He says that an ideal society consists of three main classes of people. Likewise, he also claims that the individual soul has a three-part structure, which includes the rational, spirited, and appetitive part. He also correlates how these three parts of soul influence the lives of individual human beings. He also adds that the world is divided into two realms— the visible and the intelligible. According to him, those things which you grasp with your senses constitute the visible world, whereas the ones that are grasped by your mind come under the intelligible world. He paints an evocative portrait of a philosopher’s soul moving through various stages of cognition.
About the Author
Plato was an Athenian philosopher of Ancient Greece and founder of the Platonist school of thought, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. He was the innovator of the written dialogue and dialectic forms in philosophy. His most famous contribution is the theory of Forms known by pure reason, in which Plato presents a solution to the problem of universals known as Platonism.
Benjamin Jowett was renowned as an influential tutor and administrative reformer in the University of Oxford, a theologian and translator of Plato and Thucydides.