Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Republic” as Want to Read:
The Republic
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Book* *Different edition

The Republic

(Диалози #3)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  189,466 ratings  ·  4,565 reviews
Presented in the form of a dialogue between Socrates and three different interlocutors, this classic text is an enquiry into the notion of a perfect community and the ideal individual within it. During the conversation, other questions are raised: what is goodness?; what is reality?; and what is knowledge? The Republic also addresses the purpose of education and the role o ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published February 25th 2003 by Penguin Classics (first published -375)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Republic, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Jared Ellison Most of the stuff you are speaking about is because a large part of The Republic is an allegory for the soul. Those middle books do get that way, I as…moreMost of the stuff you are speaking about is because a large part of The Republic is an allegory for the soul. Those middle books do get that way, I assure you that he closes it out well. You could say that Socrates is making fatal and false assumptions about human nature, and that may be true in a literal read. The point is part satirical: he is merely taking one thing to follow from what they discussed earlier. It could also be a warning of the great affronts to one sort of nature you would have to do to get at ascendant perfection (or perhaps a comment on how the means do matter as well as the ends, etc.). Republic is a rich text, and everything has a vivid purpose. I read it while at Hillsdale College in a class, and it is still my favorite book. Perhaps an interpreter who goes through the powerful ideas in the book would be of use. The book is incredible to me. I hope you find someone who can help you to wring everything out of it (you may never wring it dry)(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  189,466 ratings  ·  4,565 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Republic
May 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
All the criticisms of Plato are valid. He raises straw arguments. He manipulates discussions unfairly. He doesn't offer realistic solutions. And so on.

But he is still, and for very good reason, the most influential philosopher in Western civilization. He makes people think. Most authors we read today are trying to persuade us to agree with their point of view. Plato, not so. He wants you to disagree with him. He wants you to argue with him. He wants you to identify the fallacies in his arguments
Henry Avila
Jul 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Plato's "The Republic", is a great but flawed masterpiece of western literature, yes it makes sense, mostly, some of it. "I am the wisest man in the world because I know one thing, that I know nothing", said the smart man ... Socrates. Plato is writing for Socrates, his friend and teacher. Late teacher, since being forced to commit suicide by the uncomfortable citizens of Athens ( the famous poisoned cup of hemlock), for corrupting the minds of youth. Socrates didn't believe books were as effect ...more
Emily May
Mar 08, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, classics
My re-reading of this for my university course has led me to the same conclusions I found when I first read it a couple of years back, except this time I am fortunate enough to have understood it better than last time. My conclusions being that Plato, and through him Socrates, was very intelligent, believed he was more intelligent than everyone else (no matter how many times he declared himself unwise) and very much loved to talk. Socrates, in particular, must have been very fond of the sound of ...more
Riku Sayuj

Is the attempt to determine the way of man’s life so small a matter in your eyes—to determine how life may be passed by each one of us to the greatest advantage? (1.344d)

I propose therefore that we inquire into the nature of justice and injustice, first as they appear in the State, and secondly in the individual, proceeding from the greater to the lesser and comparing them. (2.368e—369a)

The Republic: An Apology

“The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition i
Roy Lotz
I’ve gotten into the habit of dividing up the books I’ve read by whether I read them before or after Plato’s Republic. Before The Republic, reading was a disorganized activity—much the same as wading through a sea of jumbled thoughts and opinions. I had no basis from which to select books, except by how much they appealed to my naïve tastes. But after reading The Republic, it was as if the entire intellectual landscape was put into perspective. Reading became a focused activity, meant to engage ...more
Feb 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: classic
“Bodily exercise, when compulsory, does no harm to the body; but knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.”
― Plato, The Republic

A book, that I suppose we all have to read, and in my personal experience should want to read. I read this as a task completing exercise, in that I need to get this read at some stage of other in my life. It also feels like the sort of book that needs to be studied to get the most of, or at least with some personal desire to understand.

As far as I can remember, I've always loved philosophy: who hasn't dreamed of an ideal world?
"The Republic" is one of the books that you must have read; I think, if you like philosophy, I will dare an analogy that will perhaps make you smile, but it's a bit like reading "the Lord rings "if you have to say that you love fantasy literature, this is a must.
It is an arduous and demanding reading, very challenging; the style and the turns of phrase of 2500 years ago do not make it easy to read. It wi
The Republic is where Plato lays down his ideas of an ideal state and its rulers. Plato's Utopian state is one which is just and his ideal rulers are philosophers. Presented as a series of dialogue between Socrates and Plato's brothers Adeimantus and Glaucon, in eleven parts Plato step by step forms his ideal state (Part I and II), its rulers (Part IV and Part VII), their education, women's position (Part VI) and the position of art and poetry (Part X) in the new state. Although some of his view ...more
Halfway through now and the ability to see the book as a metaphor for civic and personal moral development becomes difficult. The book is only useful if you are tracking the history of ideas, which I am not. The state Plato describes here is one that is highly prohibitive in almost every aspect. Arts and culture are severely controlled for propaganda purposes. There is a complete inability to view open, transparent government as an option. The guardians must be lied to and deceived constantly if ...more
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’ve read this right through a couple of times now – three, or there about, I think. And bits of it many, many times. This is one of the key books of ‘the western canon’, you really do need to be aware of it. And you might be surprised at how frequently it is referenced, particularly in science fiction – everything from The Giver to Brave New World to The Matrix. And while the world Plato is presenting is meant to be a utopia, it is generally used as the basis for the most terrifying of dystopia ...more
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
It's been far too long ago since I read this to write a critical review, however, it should be required reading for all students in America at the very least. Oh how far we have strayed. ...more
Orhan Pelinkovic
Dec 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Plato's Republic (c. 375 BCE) is a Socratic dialogue in which Socrates with his interlocutors devise a conceptually ideal State. Socrates is our protagonist who is leading the discussion and is clearly dissatisfied with his government and State's structure and its system of values and justice.

Plato describes an ideal State as one that encourages gender equality, education for all, meritocracy, and is ruled by no other than a philosopher-king. Nevertheless, Plato envisions a Republic that practic
May 13, 2022 marked it as to-read
I like pretending I am smart!
Justin Evans
May 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
Just to be clear, my rating is for the edition of the Republic I read- the Oxford World's Classics text translated by Robin Waterfield. Giving stars to the Republic is so flagrantly stupid that I can't even come up with a suitably stupid analogy. Giving stars to the Mona Lisa? Not even close. Giving stars to Dante? Not the same, because that deserves five stars. The Republic simultaneously deserves five stars, for kick-starting Western philosophy, social science, aesthetics, theology, and politi ...more
Carl Audric Guia
Aug 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Plato's kinda annoying. Sure, he formulated a number of great ideas. In fact these ideas may have revolutionized philosophy back in his time. But these fallacy-ridden arguments don't really sit well. His perception of the perfect state and the perfect man, the just and the unjust man, is so flawed and so out of reach from reality. Despite these, I did learn something, especially about a good deal of ethics, which I think was the only aspect that I liked from this book. ...more
A man, tired from a long day of drudgery at work, walks towards his favourite haunt, an old-fashioned British working class pub in Essex called 'The Griffon'. Drenched from a heavy fall of rain, he enters the building and is greeted by its familiar smells and sounds.

Man: “Evening, all.” (The patrons demurely acknowledge his presence, and return to their drinks. The face of Roger, a much older man, lights up as he joyously steps towards the newcomer)

Roger: “Nate, ye bastard! Where have ye been
Strange days indeed, when we are sent back to re-visit the very roots of philosophy within the ancient world.

Audio book 4:49:25
if you like this review i now have website:

70417: this is the third translation i have read. i read jowett 1871 years ago The Republic (decades...). you can get his version free on the net. read another but do not recall by whom. this is allen 2008. i think what riku sayuj says above is the best in-depth review i mostly agree with. i read it yes as a way of arguing around to 'what is justice/just man', by portraying an entire city as if it can then be seen allegorically a
Saadia  B.
Dec 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Plato is one of those writers/philosophers who is very hard to comprehend if you haven’t read him before or not interested in Philosophy.

Socrates, his master is a bit mellow in his way of teaching. In this book, Socrates is having a discussion with four others about the different variants that comprise of a 'STATE'. Justice is also one of the main themes in the book as justice provides a parameter of guidance among the people and how they would treat one another.

Though this book is full of int
Clay Davis
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Learned a lot about ancient Greek culture. Plato makes Socrates a mental giant of his age while talking about his fantasy Republic.
Matthew Ted
115th book of 2021.

It’s no secret that Plato isn’t fool-proof. A lot of the arguments within the 400 or so pages of Republic are what one might call a ‘stretch’—Plato has some (mostly) friendly men to converse with who are very fond of telling him how brilliant he is and how his points are well-founded. The truth is, this does not happen in arguments, because there are always two people (or is this only in my own case?) trying to prove their own viewpoints, and in the end they both resist and pe
David Sarkies
Oct 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
Theorising the Perfect State
21 October 2013

Sometimes I wonder if people give this book five stars because it is either a) written by Plato, or b) if you don't give it five stars then you are afraid that people will think that you are some semi-literate mindless cretin whose reading capacity tends to extend little beyond the Harry Potter and Twilight Series. Yes, I realise that I have given it five stars, but I have given it five stars because I actually enjoyed the argument that this book outli
Gary Inbinder
This is my first GR review without a star rating. Here’s the reason why.

I don’t like Plato’s Republic, but I think it ought to be read more than once. I didn’t like it when I first read it almost 50 years ago, and my opinion hasn’t changed over the years. Nevertheless, I think it’s an important book that should be read, analyzed and debated. In that regard, it’s much like Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Both books are, in my opinion, prescriptions for tyranny, the two sides of the same counterfeit coin. H
Jason Pettus
Apr 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.)

The CCLaP 100: In which I read a hundred so-called "classic" books for the first time, then write reports on whether or not I think they deserve the label

Essay #11: The Republic, by Plato (~360 BC)

The story in a nutshell:
For those who don't know, the last 2,500 years of Western civilization can be rou
Michael Finocchiaro
I almost categorised this as a dystopian novel because while Plato finds his Republic to be ideal, it sounded too much like what Trump intends for Amerikkka. It is an essential read in terms of western philosophy particularly because of the cave analogy and its opposition to the Aristotelian manner of thinking that created the major division in Greek philosophy and continues to underpin politics ever since. In his taking the ideal to be more critical than the real world, Plato creates a model an ...more
Amit Mishra
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
The book is a dialogue among the students. Where some serious questions have been asked. Like, what is a reality? What is good and bad? The book tries t capture all the forces of earth and translate them into a constructive idea. It talks about almost all thing. How should be an idle society look like, how should be an individual.
The book is a must-read for everyone who wants to understand the depth of life.
J. Sebastian
What a beautiful book this is; not only for its philosophical content, but for its form and design! When one reads and basks in the glow of its beauty and reflects that Plato (as did all the writers of the classical age) wrote so well using only ink and papyrus, relying on an alphabet of capital letters alone, without the benefits of our system of punctuation, or even of that convention, taken for granted today, by which we distinguish each word by placing a space between them; when you consider ...more
Let me tell you about this book. Well, I don't recall it much; I only recall the angst it caused me for in my first year of college there were only two classes left that looked somewhat interesting. First time; last served. I took Philosophy 101 and Child Psychology.

I walked into my philosophy class and thought it was really going to be interesting. The teacher, Mr. Flores, spoke in broken English. No one told me that I could drop out of a class, so I sat there. I couldn't take notes because I
Jun 20, 2007 rated it really liked it
I finished reading The Republic on my birthday and now am both older and wiser. The Republic is in essence one long argument why a person should lead a just life verses choosing a life of pleasure, riches, ambition, or power. It is deeply concerned with the nature of the human soul and how to prepare one's soul for eternity. Socrates/Plato uses a plethora of logical examples for this argument, although it is the logic of 400 B.C. Greek culture, which seems somewhat fractured to us today. The Rep ...more
Feb 04, 2008 rated it did not like it
I'm not sure why people read this. For those interested in the history of philosophy it's undoubtedly important. For everyone else... meh. A lot of people comment that Plato deals seriously with all the big issues. Well, he brings them up, but never seriously engages with them.
Maybe the problem is that I'm reading this at 25 after spending a couple years seriously reading philosophy. Maybe Popper inoculated me. I might have felt differently if I started reading The Republic with a less critical
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Please add Audible edition 1 2 15 hours, 18 min ago  
Goodreads Librari...: "República" new edition 2 13 Jul 20, 2022 08:49PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Can you please help me add the cover for this one? 9 24 May 17, 2021 12:14PM  
Club de Lectura N...: Lectura de Marzo 2021 2 20 Mar 09, 2021 08:59PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Politics
  • The Nicomachean Ethics
  • Meditations
  • Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy
  • Leviathan
  • Thus Spoke Zarathustra
  • Beyond Good and Evil
  • The Prince
  • Meditations on First Philosophy
  • The Federalist Papers
  • Metaphysics
  • Second Treatise of Government
  • Critique of Pure Reason
  • The Social Contract
  • Phenomenology of Spirit
  • Utilitarianism
  • A History of Western Philosophy
  • The Communist Manifesto
See similar books…
See top shelves…
(Greek: Πλάτων) (Arabic: أفلاطون) (Alternate Spelling: Platon, Platón, Platone)
Plato is a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the foundations of Western p

Other books in the series

Диалози (5 books)
  • Диалози, т. I
  • Диалози, т. II
  • Диалози, т. IV
  • The Laws of Plato

Related Articles

We all have our reading bucket lists. James Mustich's 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die is bound to seriously expand that list...
123 likes · 54 comments
“The heaviest penalty for declining to rule is to be ruled by someone inferior to yourself.” 1396 likes
“I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.” 1283 likes
More quotes…