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The Republic

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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 of both women and men as guardians of the people. With remarkable lucidity and deft use of allegory, Plato arrives at a depiction of a state bound by harmony and ruled by philosopher kings.

416 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 376

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4,399 books6,814 followers
427 BC-347 BC

The Republic , the best known of these many dialogues with Socrates, mentor, as the central character, expounds idealism of noted Greek philosopher Plato and describes a hypothetical utopian state that thinkers rule; he taught and wrote for much his life at the Academy, which he founded near Athens around 386 BC. Platonism, the philosophy of Plato, especially asserts the phenomena of the world as an imperfect and transitory reflection of ideal forms, an absolute and eternal reality.

Aristotle began as a pupil of Plato. Plotinus and his successors at Alexandria in the 3rd century developed Neoplatonism, a philosophical system, based on Platonism with elements of mysticism and some Judaic and Christian concepts. Philosophy of Saint Thomas Aquinascombined Neoplatonism with the doctrines of Aristotle within a context of Christian thought.

This classical mathematician and student started the first institution of higher learning in the western world. Alongside his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the western science.

Plato of the most important western exerted influence on virtually every figure and authored the first comprehensive work on politics. Plato also contributed to ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology. Aristotle, his extremely influential student, also tutored Alexander the Great of Macedonia.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,978 reviews
Profile Image for Brendan.
36 reviews103 followers
February 9, 2011
Let me explain why I'd recommend this book to everyone: Plato is stupid.


And it's important that you all understand that Western society is based on the fallacy-ridden ramblings of an idiot. Read this, understand that he is not joking, and understand that Plato is well and truly fucked in the head.

Every single one of his works goes like this:

SOCRATES: "Hello, I will now prove this theory!"
STRAWMAN: "Surely you are wrong!"
SOCRATES: "Nonsense. Listen, Strawman: can we agree to the following wildly presumptive statement that is at the core of my argument?" {Insert wildly presumptive statement here— this time, it's "There is such a thing as Perfect Justice" and "There is such a thing as Perfect Beauty", among others.}
STRAWMAN: "Yes, of course, that is obvious."
SOCRATES: "Good! Now that we have conveniently skipped over all of the logically-necessary debate, because my off-the-wall crazy ideas surely wouldn't stand up to any real scrutiny, let me tell you an intolerably long hypothetical story."
{Insert intolerably long hypothetical story.}
STRAWMAN: "My God, Socrates! You have completely won me over! That is brilliant! Your woefully simplistic theories should become the basis for future Western civilization! That would be great!"
SOCRATES: "Ha ha! My simple rhetorical device has duped them all! I will now go celebrate by drinking hemlock and scoring a cameo in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure!"

The moral of the story is: Plato is stupid.
Profile Image for Everyman.
45 reviews331 followers
December 5, 2011
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 (and some are deliberately fallacious). In short, he wants you to do the most difficult intellectual exercise there is. He wants you to think, and to think deeply.

The other thing to realize about Plato is that he is an exquisite poet and craftsman. There is nothing accidental about what he writes; there is nothing superfluous. Even the most minute seeming points are there for good reason. Part of the joy of reading Plato for the third, fourth, fifth time is to see each time a bit more about what he is doing and why he is doing it, to come closer to appreciating his extraordinary genius and encountering ever more deeply this incredible mind.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
August 25, 2021
Πολιτεία = The Republic, Plato

The Republic is a Socratic dialogue, written by Plato around 380 BC, concerning justice, the order and character of the just city-state, and the just man.

It is Plato's best-known work, and has proven to be one of the world's most influential works of philosophy and political theory, both intellectually and historically.

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «جمهوری»؛ «جمهوریت شرکت مطبوعاتی سپر، ترجمه احمد توکلی، در سال 1334، در 170ص»؛ اثر: افلاطون؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز دوازدهم ماه ژوئن سال 1976میلادی

عنوان: جمهوری؛ اثر: افلاطون مترجم: فواد روحانی؛ در سالهای 1335 و در سال 1348هجری خورشیدی توسط بنگاه ترجمه و نشر کتاب در 648ص؛ و توسط انتشارات علمی فرهنگی در سال 1368هجری خورشیدی و در سال 1379هجری خورشیدی و چاپ نهم آن در سال 1383، چاپ دهم 1384، و ...؛ و چاپ چهاردهم در سال 1392 منتشر شده، موضوع نقد و تفسیر جمهوریت، علوم سیاسی کهن از نویسندگان یونان - سده چهارم پیش از میلاد

عنوان: جمهوری افلاطون؛ اثر: افلاطون؛ مترجم: محمدحسن لطفی؛ مشخصات نشر تهران، ابن سینا، 1353، ده جلد در یک مجلد؛ در چهارده و در549ص؛

عنوان: دوره‌ آث‍ار اف‍لاطون‌؛ ت‍رج‍م‍ه‌ م‍ح‍م‍دح‍س‍ن‌ ل‍طف‍ی‌، رض‍ا ک‍اوی‍ان‍ی‌؛ تهران، 1357؛ در ششش جلد؛ جلد یک: آپ‍ول‍وژی‌، ک‍ری‍ت‍ون‌، پ‍روت‍اگ‍وراس‌، ل‍ی‍ن‍ری‍س‌، لام‍س‌، ف‍ارم‍ی‍دس‌؛ جلد دوم: اوت‍ی‍ف‍رن‌، گ‍رل‍ی‍اس‌، م‍ن‍ون‌، م‍ه‍م‍ان‍ی‌، ف‍ای‍دون‌؛ جلد سوم: ه‍ی‍پ‍ی‍اس‌ ب‍زرگ‌، ای‍ون‌، آل‍ل‍ی‍ب‍ی‍ادس‌، ه‍ی‍پ‍ی‍اس‌ ک‍وچ‍ک‌، م‍ن‍ک‍س‍وس‌، ک‍رات‍ی‍ل‍وس‌، اوت‍ی‍دم‌؛ جلد چهارم: ج‍م‍ه‍وری‌؛ جلد پنجم: ف‍ای‍دروس‌، ت‍ه‌م‍ه‌ ت‍ئ‍وس‌، س‍وف‍ی‍س‍ت‌، م‍رد س‍ی‍اس‍ی‌؛ جلد شش: پ‍ارم‍ی‍ن‍دس‌، ف‍ی‍ل‍س‌، ن‍ی‍م‍اژوس‌، ک‍ری‍ت‍ی‍اس‌، س‍ام‍ه‌ه‍ا؛

کتاب «جمهوری» شامل ده نمایشنامه به روش گفتگو؛ میان «سقراط» و دیگران است و در آنها به «عدالت»، «نوع حکومت»، و «حقیقت»، پرداخته شده است؛ گفتگوی نخست با «کفالوس» است؛ و کتاب دوم با سخنان «گلاوکن» آغاز می‌شود؛ و کتاب سوم «چگونگی تربیت پاسداران است»؛ و ...؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 14/07/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 02/06/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Henry Avila.
458 reviews3,241 followers
March 8, 2023
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 effective as lectures, big mistake. Socrates advocates complete state control of everything, land, schools , businesses, homes, and even children to be taken away from their parents and raised by the state. In other words, an early form of communism. Plato agreed but Aristotle didn't , he knew only parents would love their children , which kids need. Most of the book is dialogues between various men as how to establish a perfect state. Socrates / Plato wanted Greece ruled by philosopher kings. With a professional army to back them up. An unreachable goal, as 24 centuries later, has shown. Greed is the primary motivation of the human race, but people keep on trying to reach the elusive "Utopia", and failing forever? Socrates the wise man, was correct.
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,964 reviews294k followers
March 20, 2012
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 his own voice.

You can't give a book that revolutionised philosophy any less than 3 stars, even if about 70% of it features many generalisations, jumping to bizarre conclusions, and claims without good reason. And yes, Plato and Socrates had some brilliant ideas - all the more brilliant because they came up with them first - but they don't measure up to today's version of "rational thinking". Good, but outdated. I suppose the best thing about their ideas was that they laid the foundations for the next 2000 years of Western philosophy and politics.

Gender Equality?

And, though hardly feminists, Socrates and Plato were some of the first to publicly suggest that education should be equal to both genders (apart from military training) and that women should have as large a political role as men, seeing as they make up half of society. Go early Greek gender equality!! Though I suppose the line "whining and crying as if they were but women" (or something to that effect) kind of pisses on that feminist bonfire. Oh well...


So here's some of the reasons why The Republic fails. Firstly, Socrates (the character) assumes that because one example demonstrates a certain type of relationship, then this idea can be applied to all. When he is arguing with Thrasymachus about justice, Thrasymachus says that justice is whatever the rulers decide it to be and that they use this power for their own good and the weaker (i.e. the subjects) get screwed over. Socrates then uses the example of a physician who is stronger than his patients but his agenda is only to help them. Well:

1) Even if a physician selflessly helps his patients, this does not prove that rulers have the best interests of their citizens in mind. There is not a naturally occurring relationship between the two.

2) As Thrasymachus goes on to point out, the physician is doing it for his own benefit because he is paid to do the job.

Stupidity & Contradictions

So then Socrates starts with the bullshit that doesn't get refuted because the author is on his side, of course. He says that the physician is divided into two roles: that of physician and that of moneymaker (yep). So, basically the two are separate and have nothing to do with each other... um, I beg to differ. You see? Some of the arguments are ridiculous. He also goes on to contradict himself later by stating that rulers do get a reward for ruling: money! If he had maintained his previous argument, then they should have done it anyway for the simple benefit of their subjects and moneymaking should be a separate thing entirely.

Agent vs. Act Virtue

Plato and Socrates talked a great deal about justice being an agent virtue and not just an act virtue. They believed that it wasn't good enough to act justly, you had to have a good soul as well. Makes sense until you get to where you judge people based on them having a good soul or not - and just how do you do that?

Person A: do you have a just soul?

Person B: oh yes.

Person A: Phew, let's be friends.


And they have a very warped view of what makes a person good/just. "A just man values wisdom above all else"... does he? I imagine a person who likes to make friends with the super-smart individuals and disregard the rest to be a bit of an ass. Don't you?
Profile Image for Luís.
1,864 reviews523 followers
March 15, 2023
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 will often be necessary to re-read specific sentences to ensure you have grasped the meaning of the argument.
If I have fond memories of "The Republic," it is not so much for the brilliant arguments offered to us, to be honest. However, I have forgotten the essential, even if I still remember that there is a superiority of good over evil, one of the actors defending the good and the other trying to dismantle his arguments.
What left a lasting impression on me and still serves me today will use the preparation of the "dispute" for a good part of the story. Or will use almost that to avoid misunderstandings and wrong interpretations; it is the first and the only time I have seen this way of preparing a verbal game with such rigor.
Thanks to this reading, I sometimes make sure during a discussion that the meaning of the words is the same for everyone; in this sense, this book left me with something lasting in my daily life.
One of my rare classic readings, without going through the reading box imposed at school;)
Profile Image for Riku Sayuj.
653 reviews7,023 followers
April 15, 2017

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 is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.” 

~ Alfred North Whitehead

The Famous Republic

'The Republic' is either reverenced, reviled or just plain ignored. Though it keeps resurfacing, it has been pushed back often, being accused of bigotry, racism, elitism, casteism, anti-democratic nature, the list is endless. But it is beyond doubt, one of the preeminent philosophical works and has been quoted, referenced or adapted by almost all of the major thinkers since.

The ideas of Socrates have had an afterlife that is as long and varied as the thousand year journey envisioned for souls in the famous Story of Er. It is impossible to catalogue the full list of impacts but Whitehead's quote (introductory to this review) gives adequate flavor. The practical influence of Republic is more difficult to gauge than its impact on the theorizing of later thinkers - over the centuries, individuals have discovered in Plato’s works the inspiration for undertaking political or social or educational reform and have used it as the springboard for much revolutionary thought, and deeds.

Republic has inspired in addition to all the expository analysis, also countless creative interpretations, which have shaped our vision of future possibilities, limits and of extremities. Many depictions of both utopian societies and their dystopian counterparts, ranging from Thomas More’s Utopia to Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver's Travels to Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World to George Orwell’s 1984, have their roots in the ideal city brought to life by Socrates, Glaucon, and Adeimantus. Contemporary films such as Gattaca and The Matrix may not owe direct inspiration to Republic, but they participate in a long tradition of artistic works that ultimately trace their concerns back to the political, social, and metaphysical issues raised in Republic.

But in spite of all this, the original work retains a reputation for being difficult and hard to penetrate. This has meant that the scholars have more or less appropriated this brilliantly composed treatise, and that is a pity. There is great suspense in every page as you eagerly try to work your way through Socrates’ arguments… anticipating now, guessing now, failing now, but always on the edge of your seats at the sparkle of his wit and wisdom. The dialogues are constructed with an almost unbelievable care and subtlety. The drama is breathtaking and all-pervading, even in the stock responses to theoretical or rhetorical questions. One is never allowed to sit and absorb passively, but is forced to constantly interact with the dialogue. It is as much fun to read as a Shakespearean drama.

The Offensive Republic

Now, to examine some of the reasons why The Republic offends modern sensibilities:

Much of the contemporary discomfort with Plato’s state arises from his countenancing of censorship, a rigid caste system, etc. But these are in a way unfortunate misunderstandings. A close reading of the text would make clear that these catch-all descriptions of Plato’s state are not as representative as they are made out to be. For example, the caste system that is first to get blamed is hardly a rigid hereditary system, but a strict meritocratic system that is much more equal than anything that we have seen till date. It involves a strict battery of tests (similar to the aptitude tests of today) based on which every individual is to be judged (and opponents of IQ tests may relax - these are meant to be much more practical examinations).

Also, the popular rendering of the title as “The Republic” itself is unfortunate, giving it an obvious political and ideological overtone. In the manuscripts and ancient citations, the title of Republic is given as Politeia (“Constitution”) or Politeiai (“Constitutions”); Peri dikaiou (literally, “concerning that which is just”) is sometimes listed as an alternative title.

The Misunderstood Republic

I had planned on giving a blow by blow defense of the most reviled aspects of The Republic, but that is not the point I wish to make here. The primary mistake in criticizing The Republic is to assume that it was meant to be a political treatise in the first place. It is not. The whole argument begins from a question of identifying what ‘Justice’ is and whether it is beneficial to live a ‘Just Life’. This is the crux. ‘Why’ and ‘How’ to be Just and ‘What’ is this “Justice’ anyway? That is what Socrates wants to explore. He takes detours in this exploration. He uses metaphors - of State (as larger manifestation), of Caves, etc. But they all lead us back to the same basic question.

To identify this basic concern, we need only look at the complex structure of the dialogue itself. Republic’s “narrative” is structured in an almost circular pattern. This circular pattern is complex, evoking the narrative patterns of epic poems such as Iliad and Odyssey. Most basically, the dialogue’s two main concerns (defining justice and ascertaining its relationship to happiness) are treated in two corresponding sections (books 2-4 and books 8-9) that are interrupted by what is nominally a series of digressions in books 5-7, and 10. These nominal digressions, of course, create the dialogue’s most memorable metaphors, but they are meant to be digressions that add to the core. Not the other way around.

At its most basic level, Republic is an effort to forge a consistent and meaningful redefinition of “Justice”. The aretê that is explored lies in nothing outward, but rests solely in the mature reason and regard for what is beneficial to the soul. Not all the details in these allegories stand up to logical analysis, but they are not meant to.

This is made clear by the fact that The Republic’s interlocutors repeatedly draw attention to the incomplete, provisional, and at times unsatisfactory nature of their treatment of justice, happiness, the ideal political community, the theory of the ideas, the cognitive faculties of human beings, etc. The inadequacy of “the method we are employing” is acknowledged at 4.435c-d, at 6.504b-d and in many other places.


The Personal Constitution: A Constitution of the Perfect Life

The Perfect State sketched out (which is the stub of almost all criticism) is only an approximation devised to arrive at the Perfect Man, and that is why the so called bad aspects can be deemed acceptable. The mistake, as stated already, is to see it as a purely political treatise while it is in fact a treatise on justice and how to live the perfect life - the ‘Constitution’ of a perfect life.

"He will look at the city which is within him, and take heed that no disorder occur in it, such as might arise either from superfluity or from want; and upon this principle he will regulate his property and gain or spend according to his means."

In the end, the state is not fleshed out enough to really form a complete constitution for any state that can exist in reality (and not just as an idea). But the psychological part (it is curious how this part has generated so much less criticism, in comparison) is - we return in the end (and all the way in between) to the original question of how an individual should order his life - what his virtues should be. It is a political critique piggy-backing on a  personal enquiry and hence any commentary of it cannot treat them differently. Censorship, slaves, aristocracy are all wonderful aspects in an individual but not palatable in a state (to modern eyes). Hence, we can only criticize that the greater to smaller equality is not well realized (i.e. from state => individual). But then Socrates, as above, is always eager to make the point about the provisional nature of his metaphor which is only meant to incite thinking and not as an answer - that is just not the way to deal with true lovers of truth, with true philosophers.

[Cheeky counterproposal by the reviewer's alter-ego: “Or all the personal stuff is just a convenient cloak for the political criticism that is the real purpose! After all, we cannot forget the historical milieu in which Plato composed it. He had enough axes to grind!”]

Indeed, the more we approach certain aspects of the text from analytic and conceptual standpoints, the more we find that Socrates and his companions make innumerable assumptions and leaps of logic that is not satisfactory or fully justified. Each of these can be fairly scrutinized and contested, and have been. We may raise any number of questions about its relevance to our experiences and value systems. Much of Republic, especially its political philosophy, argument for Censorship and Social structuring, is at odds with modern ideals; some readers will doubtless be dissatisfied with, among other things, its unapologetic elitism and naive (almost laughable) confidence in the integrity of “philosopher-rulers.” Some, however, may find that its critique of ancient Athenian society opens the door to meaningful questions about contemporary cultural practices and priorities. And even more meaningful questions on how to organize our inner impulses and constitution.

Philosopher, Be Thyself

We need to understand that the Platonic Dialogues, in principle, are not meant to represent a simple doctrine that can be followed, they instead are meant to prepare the way for philosophizing. They are not easy guide books to follow. They require work from the reader, above and beyond the ideas presented. That is one of the reasons for the dialogue nature in which they are structured. Plato’s overarching purpose in writing the Republic was to effect a change in his readers similar to the change that Glaucon and Adeimantus undergo at Socrates’ hands in the fictional world of the dialogue. This purpose can be summed up in the word protreptic, from the Greek protrepein, which means “turn (someone) forward,” hence “propel,” “urge on,” “exhort.” Plato uses literary art, which in his case includes but is not limited to philosophical argument, to move his reader toward a greater readiness to adopt a just way of life.

The dialogues are thus intended to perform the function of a living teacher who makes his students think. One must philosophize to understand them. One must look at the microcosm of the dialogues as well as the macrocosm of the world that we inhabit simultaneously to understand them. It is in this process that the dialogues assist, insist and themselves provide a training in.

We can only conclude by asking questions, in the true spirit of the dialectic method:

Can we then say that we are convinced, that justice, as defined by Socrates, is something intrinsically valuable? Are we convinced that the just man can be “happy” even if he does not enjoy a reputation for justice, nor any other material benefit, in this life or after?


Have Socrates and his companions persuaded us that the ideal city-state they describe in Republic is truly the best political community possible? Do we believe that Socrates himself thinks so? Is that what we take away from such a deep examination of how to live our lives? Or do we let the Story of Er guide us back to the truer motives of the interlocutors?

"I really do not know as yet, but whither the argument may blow, thither we go."
Profile Image for Roy Lotz.
Author 1 book8,180 followers
June 2, 2016
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 with certain questions.

“Question” is the key word here because, in the end, that’s what Plato is all about: asking the right questions, the important questions. All academic disciplines are organized around a few basic questions—“what is the nature of human cognition?” “what are the fundamental laws of the universe?”—and in The Republic, Plato touches on almost every one of them. That’s why shelving the book in the philosophy section doesn’t quite do it justice. An exhaustive list of the disciplines touched upon in this dialogue would be massive—epistemology, metaphysics, psychology, eschatology, political science, economics, art, literature, music. In fact, it would be easier naming disciplines that aren’t touched upon.

That’s how Plato lit up the intellectual landscape for me. By posing these questions in their most basic forms, and attempting answers, he makes it clear which questions are the important ones in life, and how difficult they are to answer. And that’s why Plato’s Republic is the quintessential classic. It has everything a classic should have—a unique perspective, brilliant ideas, engagement with perennial issues, and a charming writing style. It is the greatest book of perhaps the Western tradition’s greatest thinker. I don’t care who you are—you should read it.

Nevertheless, there are some perplexing and frustrating things about Plato. For one, it is extraordinarily difficult to figure out where Plato stands in relation to his work. Unlike almost every later philosopher, Plato didn’t write didactic works. He puts his ideas—sometimes conflicting ideas—into the mouths of the people of his day. The result is a kind of double confusion. To what extent are the ideas expressed by Socrates actually Socrates’s? To what extent are they Plato’s? To what extent are they anyone’s? Perhaps Plato was just fond of playing intellectual games and creating philosophical pocket dramas.

Added to this is a kind of subtle irony that creeps up in several of his dialogues. In Phaedrus, Plato has Socrates complain about the evils of writing; yet Plato obviously loved to write. One of Plato’s most influential ideas is his theory of forms; yet one of the most influential arguments against the theory was put forward by Plato himself. In The Republic, as well as elsewhere, Plato repeatedly equates knowledge with goodness, and falsity with evil; yet he proposes to found his entire utopia on a massive lie. And again, in this book Plato puts forward one of the most famous arguments in history against poetry and the arts; yet Plato was one of the most artistic of all writers. Plato proposes to banish the myths of Homer and Hesiod; then Plato ends his magnum opus with his own myth. You see these contradictions again and again, which leads you to wonder: how many of his arguments are meant to be taken seriously?

What’s more, some of the arguments put forward in his dialogues are—it must be said—frustratingly stupid, relying on false analogies and several other types of fallacies. This would be no mystery if he was a halfwit. But the quality of his writing and the originality of his ideas make it clear that he was a genius. This again makes you wonder if he is putting forth his ideas in earnest.

There are many complaints commonly lodged at Plato (and his pupil Aristotle). Liberals criticize his hatred of democracy and freedom. Moralists complain that he embraced slavery. (A friend of mine once told me that his philosophy professor called Aristotle the “father of racism.”) Scientists—such as Carl Sagan—disparage Plato’s anti-empirical and mystical tendencies. Nietzsche and his followers condemn Plato for dividing up the world into self-evident good and bad. The list of complaints can be extended almost endlessly. And, it should be said, there is some justice in all of these criticisms. (But just you try and found an entire intellectual tradition spanning thousands of years, and see if you do any better!)

In Plato, I find something so valuable that it could outweigh every one of those criticisms: Plato's celebration of thinking for its own sake—argument for the sake of argument, debate for the sake of debate. Too often, we consider intellectual activity as merely a means to some desirable end; how rarely we consider that thinking is its own reward. Vigorous thought is one the keenest joys in life. And that is why Plato is so valuable, why he still has so much to offer our world—perhaps now more than ever.

[A note on justice. Even though Plato spills much ink in trying to prove that justice is more desirable than injustice, I think the real solution is in Glaucon’s speech in Book 2, where Plato manages to hit upon the solution provided by game theory. It’s worth quoting at length.
[Many have believed] that to do injustice is, by nature, good; to suffer injustice, evil; but that the evil is greater than the good. [I.e. The evil suffered from injustice is greater than the good gained from acting unjustly.] And so when men have both done and suffered injustice and have had experience of both, not being able to avoid the one and obtain the other, they think that they had better agree among themselves to have neither; hence there arise laws and mutual covenants; and that which is ordained by law is termed by them lawful and just. This they affirm to be the origin and nature of justice; it is a mean or compromise, between the best of all, which is to do injustice and not be punished, and the worst of all, which is to suffer injustice without the power of retaliation; and justice, being at a middle point between the two, is tolerated not as a good, but the lesser evil, and honored by reason of the inability of the men to do injustice.

This view—purportedly the common view of justice—is game theory in a nutshell. Cheating your neighbor is (for you) the biggest positive, since you get their resources without having to work. But being cheated is the biggest negative, since you lose both your resources and the work you invested in procuring them. Creating laws to abolish cheating is a sort of compromise—avoiding the pain of being cheated at the expense of the gain from cheating. That, to me, seems like the most logical explanation of justice.

This is just one example of why it's rewarding to read Plato, because even when he's wrong, he's right.]
Profile Image for Baba.
3,562 reviews860 followers
January 28, 2022
“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.

Can this really be the foundations of Western philosophy within the pages of a medium sized book? Looking at some of the negative criticisms of this book, I would counter that this read was as much about the art of debate, questioning the status quo and exploring ideas to reach positive goals for me; also it is obviously needs to be taken into the context of the age that it was written in, which in itself makes this a remarkable piece of work, surely? 6 out of 12 for this truly classical read.

2008 read
Profile Image for Piyangie.
519 reviews417 followers
January 24, 2023
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 views are far fetched and absurd, many of them are thought-provoking. And if you examine carefully, you will see some truth in many of his viewpoints, especially those relating to imperfect societies (discussed in Part IX).

I truly enjoyed Plato's arguments although I cannot say that I agree with them all. There are many insightful views though at the same time, given the long years between the time in which it was written and which it was read, some of the arguments are absurd according to modern standards. Plato's Utopian state is one that cannot be realized in reality; even Plato had his doubts about it ever being in existence. But on close examination of various governments in the world, we see instances where views of Plato have been adopted. Taking all these into account, it is no wonder that The Republic is regarded as the cornerstone of western philosophy.

The translation I read was done by Sir Desmond Lee. I found it easy to read. There were many explanatory notes within that which helped me considerably if not fully to understand the text. Overall, I loved the read and am very happy to say that finally one of my long reading wishes is fulfilled.
Profile Image for William2.
745 reviews2,969 followers
September 5, 2016
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 they are to develop correctly. Moreover, to establish what we might call a footing for his premises, there is an overwhelming amount of presumption on the part of the author. Much of the reasoning seems specious. It strikes this reader how Plato did not have a long and detailed historical record to call on as we do. There are many assumptions, for instance, with respect to the education of the guardians, that shows a weak grasp of human psychology. The guardians should, in effect, be shielded from badness and wrongdoing if they are to develop the appropriate appreciation for virtue. Well, if they're not exposed to badness, how will they know it when they see it? Other aspects of guardian nurturing and education, too, are severe if not totalitarian by today's standards. First, the very sick are to be left to die. This was of course a sign of the times. Medicine was primitive. But there is not an iota of compassion about those left to die. This, indeed, would connote "softness," something not wanted in our guardians, who are to be simultaneously brave and happy, not unlike the family dog. Plato actually says that. The overwhelming import of the reading so far has been to show me how very far we as a culture (western) have come in the more than 2,400 years since Republic's composition. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, and I paraphrase, the arc of history is long but it bends toward justice. I stopped on p. 134, unable to finish. To use a line from Candide, "the book fell from my hands."
(AC says I should not be reading this translation at all but G.M.A. Grube's. So I will.)
Profile Image for Mohamed El-shandidy.
115 reviews313 followers
July 1, 2022
و من منا لم يسمع عن أفلاطون؟ 🌚
الفيلسوف الأشهر و أكثر من أثر علي الفلسفة علي مر العصور ، يكتب هذا الكتاب و الذي يعده الكثير أعظم كتاب فلسفة بالتاريخ. ✨.

كان أفلاطون من أسرة ثرية و كان له مكان محفوظ في حكم اليونان ، و لكنه آثر أن يعارض السلطة و يتمسك بأفكاره خاصة بعدما أعدموا معلمه الشهير سُقراط حيث جعلوه يشرب السم أمام تلاميذه.

الكتاب يدور علي هيئة حوار طويل يجرى علي لسان معلمه سقراط ، الذي قرر في الكتاب الجلوس و الاستماع لحكمة كبار السن ، ليجرى الأمر أن سقراط هو من يدير الحديث و يعلم كبار السن كل شيئ تقريبا 😂

يتحدث الكتاب عن كيفية بناء الدولة و هل العدالة أفضل أم الظلم؟
لتتفاجئ في النهاية أن العدالة أفضل حقاً 😮😂!


سأدعك الآن مع خلاصة فكر أفلاطون بالكتاب و مع هذه الاقتباسات التي أعدها مبهرة سابقة لعصره تنم عن عبقرية الرجل ✨.

- و الناس الذين يستهجنون الظلم ، لا يخشون ارتكابه ، و إنما يخشون التعرض له.
فالظلم إذا تحقق بمقياس معين كان أكثر سخاء من العدالة.

- الظلم يولد العداوة بين الناس ، و وجوده يدعو إلي كراهية الناس بعضهم بعضاً ، فيؤلفون أحزاباً و يعجزون عن التصرف كجماعة ، و إذا حل الظلم بين شخصين يصبح كل منهما عدوا للآخر ، و كلاهما عدو للرجل العادل.

- فكمال الظلم أن يبدو عادلاً دون أن يكون كذلك حقاً .

- و لا يترددون في أن يصفوا الأشرار بأنهم سعداء ، و يكرمونهم بأحسن الصفات إذا كانوا أغنياء ، و بالعكس يحتقرون الفقراء و الضعفاء في جميع النواحي ، رغم اعترافهم بأنهم أفضل من السابقين.

- الرأي العام يصرح بأنه لا فائدة من كون الإنسان عادلاً مالم يعرف الناس عنه ذلك ، بل إنه سيؤدي إلي التعب و الخسارة.

- و الجسم السليم لا يجعل النفس خيرة ، بل بالعكس ، النفس الطيبة تجعل الجسم كاملاً.

- و نحن نرى في الأطفال الصغار الغضب منذ ولادتهم ، فمعظم الناس لا يحصلون علي العقل الرصين إلا بعد سنين طويلة ، و قد لا يحصل عليه بعضهم أبدا.

- و الناس عندما يمرضون لا يرون شيئاً ألذ من الصحة ، و قد كانوا لا يجدون لها هذه اللذة القصوى قبل أن يمرضوا.

- من الواضح أن الحكم الاس��بدادي يأتي نتيجة الديمقراطية ، و الديمقراطية يهدمها تعطشها الذي لا يرتوي إلي الشيئ الذي اعتبرته الخير الاسمي و هو الحرية.
Profile Image for StefanP.
163 reviews75 followers
June 27, 2021

Bolesnici kad su bolesni kažu da nema ništa prijatnijeg od zdravlja, ali prije nego što su se razbolili oni nisu znali da je zdravlje najprijatnije.

Uvijek me lijepo osjećanje spopadne pri čitanju Platona. Njegova misao je jasna i budna, oštra i jednostavna. Iako ,,Država" napisana oko 380. prije n.e. njena relevantnost i viđenje ne smije da se dovede danas u pitanje. Koliko samo ova knjiga odjekuje i danas, i odjekivaće. Na trenutke se može izvući kontekst i reći da se Platon obraća pojedincu, a ne grupama, ne državi. Takva jedna država može postati idealna, tek kad pojedinac sebe učini idealnim; sada samo zavisi po čijoj mjeri. Ali ako te stvari koje on pripisuje kao važnim za pojedinca - uzmemo kao univerzalne, onda možemo reći da se država kroji onako kako sebe pojedinac kroji. Bez ikakvog ogoljenog politikanstva ikomješanja raznih podlih nameta, Platon problemu države pristupa temeljno, obrađuje strukturu čovjeka te njegovu kulturološku pozadinu stavlja u blokove svoje države.

Naime Platon često ističe fizičko i muzičko vaspitanje. Pojačavanjem ovog drugog ublažava se ovo prvo, fizičko vaspitanje, i tako individua postiže balans između onoga što se zove snaga, smjelost, i onoga što zovemo prijatelja razuma. I jedno i drugo je jako važno. Zapravo mnogi pojedinci žele da promjene svijet ili državu u kojoj žive, a sebe ne žele da promjene i tako se pojavljuje velika neskladnost između onoga što treba da bude i onoga što jeste. Fizičko i muzičko vaspitanje treba da budu predigra za pravednost. Gotovo pet knjiga je unutar države posvjećeno pravednosti. Platon pravednost gleda u hrabrosti, mudrosti i umjerenosti, što je koherentno s njegovim opisivanjen fizičkog i muzičkog vaspitanja; ili u najboljem rečeno država i ljudski životi su neraskidivi. Zapravo, čitavu knjigu treba uzetu kao cjelokupnu koherentnost, kod Platona se sve veže jedno s drugim. Potom Platon pravi modele i nijedan model državnog uređenja, po mom mišljenju nije srećno prošao, jer svi vode kao onom najgorem, bilo da se radi o timokratiji, oligarhiji, demokratiji ili tiraniji.

Mit o pećini zauzima zaista jedno posebno mjesto u knjizi, kao i okretanje vretena oko koljena Ananke, koje iznačava kosmološko viđene onoga što je bilo, što jeste i što će biti.

Sve u svemu, ne postoji idealna država niti će se takva pojaviti. I ova knjiga ne treba da služi kao neki teoretski vodič za njeno tobožnje postizanje. Svaki njen čitalac bi trebao da iz nje izvuče ono najvažnije, npr. fizičko i muzičko vaspitanje i otpočne dijelovanje istog. Knjiga samo tako može da ima korist, a i po samog pojedinca će to biti korisno. U suprotnom, ova knjiga će tek poslužiti umnožavanju nekih istorijskih ideja, koje će jedni nazvati ,,prevaziđenim" a drugi ,,ništavnim."
Profile Image for Trevor.
1,294 reviews21.7k followers
May 27, 2019
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 dystopias.

One of the things I noticed this time through was all the eugenics. Not just in the selective breeding of the human stock, but also in the murder of the ‘unfit’. I’ve always been very sensitive to ideas of killing people based on some notion of the ‘costs to society’ that they bring. I believe such ideas undermine our very humanity to the point where the ‘improved’ society would no longer be fit to be called human.

This book is seeking to provide an answer to the question ‘what is justice?’ – or rather, it starts by questioning if it is just to help your friends and harm your enemies? I’m not sure it is immediately obvious that we might go from these questions to answers concerning the division of labour in a society – but that seems to be a major consideration of the theory of justice being presented here. Basically, people are born with various levels of merit and a just society would identify those who are favoured with whatever merit they have, and it would set them to the tasks that best suit whatever merit they have. Plato talks of the merit of people as a bit like being assigned to different metals (not unlike in the Olympics) and those people metals differentiate them into different classifications – gold, silver, bronze and iron – and each will have their proper tasks in society. Once you have been assigned to one of these classifications you are pretty much stuck there. There are tasks that are appropriate to your abilities and the just society is one where people are assigned tasks that best meet their abilities. For this reason, it is important that parents don’t know their own children and that children are brought up in common by the whole of society. That way you won’t end up with a bronze child from two gold parents being given a gold education that they will not be able to make any use of, or their bronze child wreaking havoc trying to be a philosopher king, when they would have been a better baker or blacksmith or something.

All the same, the best people are still likely to have the best children and so the society should make all proper efforts to ensure that the best breeds with the best – in much the same way as you would if you were breeding race horses.

The best societies would be ruled by philosopher kings – and they would not be allowed to have any possessions of their own, since they ought to be focused on the good of the society as a whole. There is a kind of threat to such people – Plato believes they would be unlikely to really give a stuff about most things that others find very rewarding. For instance, wealth, power, prestige and so on. They are likely to be seen as too ‘other worldly’, even by themselves, and therefore they are likely to be uninterested in taking on the responsibility of ruling and they might need to be encouraged. This is all for the good – because the sorts of people who want to rule are generally not the sort of people who should ever be allowed to rule. This is one of the things in which me and Plato are very much on the same page – although, for me, rather than breeding a special class of philosopher kings to rule over us, I am increasingly becoming an anarchist as I struggle to think of a single person in my life who has been a worthwhile leader. I’ve certainly never met a philosopher I would be happy to have as my king.

These philosopher kings are expected to structure pretty well all aspects of life to make sure that the dumb (or rather we differently-abled with all too much base metal in our veins) are kept content in our ignorance. There are many, many things that the mass of society really shouldn’t be troubling their all too small minds over. It is also important that the philosopher kings do what they can to make sure that the rest of society doesn’t get their passions too excited by things like poetry either. A large part of religion will need to go – particularly the bits where the gods were seen fighting with each other or doing immoral things to women dressed up as bulls and such.

The allegory of the cave is the most famous part of this dialogue. It concerns the nature of education. What always strikes me about it is the pain that is associated with learning the truth and how once one has learnt the truth one appears to be foolish to all those around them. But that the point of learning is to return to those who are ignorant and to be forced to attempt to explain the truth of existence to them. This is almost always a near fatal enterprise. People generally don’t like being told they are wrong and being told ‘everything you have ever thought was true is actually false’ is hardly the first line in a new romance.

I keep going on about Marx’s utopia being based on the idea of there being no division of labour – so it is interesting that Plato’s is based on the exact opposite idea to this. In fact, Plato says that people really only have one thing that they are likely to be good at and that they must stick to that. He may have been both the first eugenicist, and the first Fordist/Taylorist too.

His discussion of the different types of government in book viii is a bit of a highlight to this, I think. I found his discussion of democracy particularly interesting. I’m not sure I agree with it, but I thought his discussion of how it tended towards tyranny was all a bit chilling, and perhaps also a bit too close to home. The power of money to buy democracy, the fact tyrants need to remove the best of those around them and so becomes increasingly stupid, and focused on giving the people ‘what they want’ – mostly bread and circuses – looks all uncomfortably like Trump’s America writ large.

Profile Image for فؤاد.
1,057 reviews1,725 followers
December 17, 2019
سوفسطایی ها
در یونان باستان، گروهی معلم دوره گرد بودن که فلسفه و وکالت به جوان ها یاد میدادن، به این ها "سوفیست" یا "سوفسطایی" یعنی "حکیم" می گفتن. معروفه که این گروه دو خصوصیت مهم داشتن: اول، شکاکیت در همه چیز. دوم: استفاده از مغالطه برای رسیدن به نتیجه.

معروفه که سقراط و افلاطون علیه این دو خصوصیت سوفسطایی ها موضع گرفتن و نتیجه ی مقابله با شکاکیت، ایجاد فلسفه و نتیجه ی مقابله با مغالطه، ایجاد منطق بود.

افلاطون این طوری توی کتاب های دیگران معرفی شده. مشکل اینجاست که توی کتاب های خودش ابدا این طور نیست. افلاطون توی کتاب هاش، شدیداً شکّاکه. توی بیشتر بحث هاش، فقط ایجاد سؤال میکنه و جواب های ممکن رو طرح و رد می کنه و آخرش، بدون رسیدن به جواب، مسئله رو رها میکنه.
ثانیاً مکرراً از استدلال های مغالطی استفاده میکنه. بعضی از استدلال هاش به قدری آشکارا مغالطی هستن که آدم مردد می مونه که آیا این ها جدی هستن یا شوخی.

این کتاب
اولین کتابی بود که از افلاطون خوندم. بعد از این کتاب، یه سری از کتاب های دیگه ش رو خوندم و بعضی هاش (مثل دفاعیات سقراط) خیلی عالی هستن. مسئله ای اخلاقی-فلسفی رو مطرح میکنن و راجع بهش بحث میکنن و ذهن آدم رو به کار می گیرن.

کتاب تماماً شرح یه مباحثه است که یه طرفش سقراط (استاد افلاطون) و طرف دیگه ش یکی از سوفسطایی هاست و یه سری تماشاچی هم داره. بحث سر اینه که آیا چیزی به نام عدالت حقیقی وجود داره یا نه. این بحث منتهی میشه به تعریف انسان عادل و جامعه ی عدل محور و بعد، مدینه ی فاضله ی افلاطونی.
بخش مفصلی از کتاب هم به شرح نظریه ی "مُثُل" می پردازه و تمثیل "غار" معروف هم بخشی از همین کتابه.

مهم ترین مشکل کتاب، تک صدایی بودنشه. یعنی سوفسطایی ای که طرف دیگه ی بحثه، پس از چند صفحه ی اول، عقب نشینی می کنه و تا پونصد صفحه ی بعد، فقط سقراط حرف میزنه و تماشاچی ها تأیید میکنن.
Profile Image for Mackey.
1,057 reviews364 followers
January 15, 2018
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.
Profile Image for ZOË.
194 reviews170 followers
Want to read
May 14, 2022
I like pretending I am smart!
Profile Image for Orhan Pelinkovic.
88 reviews154 followers
December 15, 2021
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 practices eugenics and enforces censorship on unsuitable writings and poems. A State in which the government is entitled to manipulate and deceive the public for the benefit of the State.

Plato describes the four forms of government and their characteristics and how one evolves from the other. Timocracy will end up transforming into an oligarchy, and oligarchy to the best available form of government, democracy. Although, excessive freedom in a democratic state will lead to tyranny. Plato bases and links the various State systems to the character of its people.

But the book has so much more to offer than dialogues on the various types of organized political States and governments.

Plato goes on to define a true philosopher as the one who yearns for knowledge of that which is eternal and unchanging and is not disturbed by things that come to be and decay. A philosopher contemplates the essence of a thing in search of a true understanding as this is the only way to enhance and elevate the soul towards the supreme good. He sees the dialectical method of reasoning as the most effective way to arrive at a truth, while knowledge attained by pure reasoning and logic is superior to the knowledge obtained by sense perception or experiences. Plato perceives the knowledge obtained by our five senses as just copies of the ideal form that only exists and is comprehensible by our intellect. But in order to attain this knowledge, one must first comprehend the abstract science of numbers, arithmetic, and geometry.

Reasoning is presented as the principal human cognitive power, followed by the process of discursive thinking, faith, and our ability to distinguish perceived images from reality. Similarly, our immortal soul's most elevated component is reason, as well, while the urges for honor and sensual pleasures are its lowest parts.

I read the book in my native Montenegrin language and I look forward to a reread in an English translation.
Profile Image for Peiman E iran.
1,394 reviews706 followers
August 29, 2016
دوستانِ گرانقدر، با وجودِ شناختی که از «افلاطون» به وسیلۀ مطالعه در تاریخ و رویدادهایِ زمانِ او، بدست می آوریم، بدونِ تردید افلاطون موجودی مغرور و مخالفِ دانش و هنر بوده است، و اگر حرفِ درست و مثالِ زیبایی، در این کتاب آمده باشد نیز، از نوشتنِ سخنانِ استادِ بزرگوار « سقراط» بدست آمده است، چراکه « افلاطون»، که با پیشرفتِ دانش و اندیشمندانی چون « دمکریت» مخالف بود و نظریه هایِ علمی مثلِ « هیچ چیز از هیچ حادث نمیشود» و یا نظریۀ « اتمی» دمکریت را شیطانی و مخالفِ دین و مذهب و فسادِ بشر، قلمداد میکرد، نمیتواند دارایِ سخنانِ اندیشمندانه باشد، زیرا در عمل چیزِ دیگر انجام داده بود
بهر حال دوستانِ عزیز، سخنی از این کتاب انتخاب کردم که برایِ درکِ بهترِ شما، آن را به زبانِ ساده و با اندک تغییراتی در زیر نوشتم و به حال و روزِ برخی از مردمِ عرب پرستِ ایران نیز شباهت دارد که از کودکی احکامِ غیرِ اخلاقی و غیر عقلانیِ اسلام را از پدر و مادر به ارث برده و همچون موجوداتِ بیخرد و مقلّد، شعارها و اعمالِ عرب هایِ نادان را تکرار میکنند و از انجام ندادنِ آن اعمال بیم و هراس دارند، انگار هیچ وقت نمی خواهند آگاه شده و از این باتلاقِ عمیق خارج شوند
عزیزانم�� تصور کنید غاری وجود دارد که از سوراخِ غار نور به درونِ غار میتابد، در این غار افرادی از زمانِ خردسالی زندانی هستند و دست و پا و گردنِ آنها را با زنجیر بسته اند، طوری که نمیتوانند به اطراف نگاه کنند، و تنها میتوانند دیوارِ روبه‌رویِ خود را مشاهده کنند... در بالا و پشتِ سرِ زندانیان آتشی فروزان است که نورِ درونِ غار از آن تأمین میشود، بینِ زندانیان و آن آتش، راهی وجود دارد و در امتدادِ آن، دیوارِ کوتاهی کشیده اند که بی شباهت به پردۀ خیمه شب بازی نیست
مردم از کنارِ آن دیوار گذر میکنند و انواعِ گوناگونِ اشیاء و مجسمه هایِ انسان و حیوان را با خودشان حمل میکنند، برخی از آن افراد که اشیاء را در دست دارند با یکدیگر صحبت میکنند و بعضی دیگر ساکت هستند
هنگامی که این افراد با اشیاء در دستشان از کنارِ آن دیوارِ موردِ نظر عبور میکنند، سایۀ اشیایی که همراهِ خود دارند به رویِ دیوارِ غار و روبرویِ صورتِ زندانیان بازتاب پیدا میکند و وقتی برخی از آن افرادِ رهگذر با هم صحبت میکنند، زندانیانِ بیچاره تصور میکنند که هر یک از این صداها متعلق به شیئی میباشد که روبرویِ آنها و در رویِ دیوار نمایان شده است
حال اگر برخی از این زندانی ها، آزاد شوند و به دهانۀ غار برسند، به محضِ دیدنِ نورِ خورشید، چشمانشان به دلیلِ عادت نداشتن به روشنایی اذیت میشود و اصلاً نمیتوانند آن اشیایی که قبلاً میدیدند را ببینند، به همین دلیل از ترس سریع برمیگردند به داخلِ غار و باز در همان جهل و نادانی باقی میمانند و همچنان به سایۀ اشیاء نگاه میکنند... ولی در این میان عده ای از آن زندانیانی که رها شده بودند به غار برنمیگردند و آنقدر تحمل میکنند تا چشمانشان به نور عادت میکند و سپس متوجهِ حقیقت شده و میفهمند که تا به حال فقط سایۀ اشیاء را مشاهده میکردند، نه خودِ حقیقیِ آنها را... و صداها نیز متعلق به انسان ها بوده است... درست است که ابتدا ممکن است که دچار سرگردانی شوند، ولی بالاخره با حقیقت روبرو شده و آگاه میگردند
سپس آن افرادِ آگاه شده به غار باز میگردند و حقیقت را برایِ کسانی که در غار هستند بازگو میکنند، ولی آن احمق ها و ترسوهایی که در غار ماندند به آنها میخندند و آنها را مسخره میکنند و میگویند: در بیرونِ غار نور به چشمانِ شما تابیده و چشمانِ شما فاسد شده است، خوب شد ما بیرون از غار نماندیم، وگرنه همچون شما دیوانه میشدیم
در این میان ممکن است کسانی که آگاه شده با��ند بخواهند زنجیرِ بقیۀ زندانی ها را باز کنند و آنها را نجات دهند، ولی همان ترسوهایِ احمق و نادان با آنها مبارزه کرده و به اسمِ گناهگار کمر به ریختن خونِ آنها و کشتنِ آن انسانهایِ آگاه شده، میبندند

دوستانِ خردگرا، امیدوارم با بیانِ این مثال جرقه ای در ذهن عده ای زده باشم که به مانندِ کسانی هستند که از بندِ زنجیر رها شده اند، ولی میترسند که از غار و تاریکی و جهالتِ دین و مذهب خارج شوند
<پیروز باشید و ایرانی>
Profile Image for Justin Evans.
1,525 reviews799 followers
May 20, 2011
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 political thought. It poses a bunch of difficult questions in a way that no book before it does. That said, the arguments it uses and the answers it reaches are ridiculous and ridiculously flawed. That's okay. If you're smart enough to ask questions that keep people talking for over two millennia, you're allowed to airball the answers. You can tear the arguments of this book apart in more ways than any other work of respectable philosophy: Aristotle is way more internally coherent, even the most moronic contemporary popular 'scientist' has less absurd assumptions.

Anyway, really I wanted to review the edition. It's great. Waterfield jettisons the random 'book' divisions of the Republic. Ideally, I guess, you'd just publish the thing as one long rant, but in the interests of user-friendliness Waterfield's split the text up into chapters, each one of which more or less features one argument. This makes the flow of the dialogue much easier to follow. He also breaks up steps in the arguments of the longer chapters, so you don't get lost even if you're kind of half-arsing your reading. For that alone, he'd get four stars, but his notes are *brilliant* too. Philosophically engaged, historically aware, never willing to play cheerleader to Socrates' more obvious gaffs, but willing to go out on a limb to defend something that initially seems implausible. Waterfield's guiding thread is that you really should read the book as what it says it is: an investigation into morality (often translated as justice elsewhere), which proceeds by way of analogy. The political stuff is secondary; the real goal is to defend the idea that the moral person is happier and better in the long run. I say all this despite disagreeing with Waterfield's argument that the forms aren't metaphysical. I know why philosophers say that; the idea that Plato thought there were real Divine Bedframes floating somewhere in the fifth dimension is ridiculous. But he pretty clearly thought that ridiculous thing. Not because he was an idiot, though: he wanted to anchor truth is something which actually existed, but acknowledged the real lack of truthiness/justice/morality in the world as he found it. Good for him.
Profile Image for Carl Audric Guia.
49 reviews36 followers
August 20, 2020
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.
Profile Image for لونا.
363 reviews470 followers
May 14, 2013
ها أنا قد قرأت أخيراً 'جمهورية' أفلاطون، ولو طُلب مني أن أُعبِّر عن انطباعي حول جمهوريته بجملة مختصره، سأقول ما سطَّره قلمي في آخر صفحة من الكتاب:-

جمهورية أفلاطون يحكمها فيلسوف 'خيالي'، وسُكَّانها رجال آليين

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تنقسم هذه المحاورة إلا عشرة أجزاء، أو كما اسماها المترجم عشرة كتب، كل كتاب يختص بموضوع معين يرتبط بما سبقه ارتباطاً وثيقاً ومكملاً له بتوسع، وهذه المواضيع يتحاور فيها "سقراط" مع مجموعة من الأشخاص

ما هو العدل؟ وهل الشخص العادل شخص سعيد نتيجة لعدله والظالم تعيس لظلمة؟! من هنا تنطلق المحاورة ويتدرج سقراط مع محاوريه فيها صعوداً وتوسعاً ليصل إلى مدينته الفاضلة

سقراط محاور "مستفز" فكرياً وهذا ليس بالغريب لطبيعته "الفلسفية"، تبدأ المحاورة بجدال قوي بينه وبين محاوريه ولكن بعد ذلك يستلم سقراط وحده دفة طرح السؤال والإجابة على نفسه ويقتصر دور محاوريه في الثناء، والتأكيد، وإعادة سؤاله مره أخرى ونادراً ما يتدخل شخص بسؤال يقلب دفة الحوار. هذا الأمر ليس بالمؤثر كثيراً على مدى توَّسع الحوار لعدة جوانب من القضية المطروحة فسقراط بطبيعة حواره يجادل نفسه بنفسه وهنا تكمن المتعة، فما أن نرتاح لفكرة حتى يقلبها رأساً على عقب مرة أخرى

أردت كتابة مختصر شديد لتقسيم الكتب لإعطاء فكرة لمن يريد المعرفة عن طبيعة هذه الأقسام واحترت ولم تطول هذه الحيرة، بعد قراءتي للمقدمة التي أؤجلها دائما لحين الانتهاء من قراءة الكتاب. الكتاب مقسَّم كالآتي*:-

الكتب الثلاثة الأولى: عن العدالة وتعريفها وعن كونها أساس للحضارة الإنسانية

الكتاب الرابع عن هيكلية الدولة وكيف يجب بناؤها

الكتب الثلاثة: الخامس والسادس والسابع وصلت فيها الفلسفة إلى أعلى قممها

الكتاب الثامن والتاسع عن أنواع الحُكم بصفه عامة ونفسية من يرئسها

الكتاب العاشر: استنتاج شامل لما سبق، ودور الشعر ونوعه في 'الجمهورية'، ومسألة أن البدن يفنى والروح تبقى خالدة

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كشخصيه تعشق الكمال كانت أكثر الأجزاء متعة الكتاب الخامس والسادس والسابع، وخصوصاً خصوصاً 'السابع'. يا إلهي كم استمتعت به، وما به من حوار يبتدئ بقصة 'الكهف' وينطلق بها ليصل إلى "ترنيمة علم الجدل التي هي أصل يختص به الألمعي فقط، فالعقل المدُرك هو العقل الجدلي على الدوام*". قصة الكهف طويلة نوعاً ما ومحاولة اختصارها هنا ستصيبها في المقتل و تفرغها من جانبها الأهم ألا وهو التسلسل التصاعدي لفكرة فلسفية جمالها وقوتها يكمن في هذا الصعود التدريجي درجة درجة

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لو أردت تقسيم جمهورية أفلاطون لثلاث أقسام رئيسية فإني سأختصر محتواها كالآتي:-
سياسياً:- صحيح أن الكمال يُمتِعْنِي ودائماً ما أسعى له ولكني شخصية واقعية لدرجة الإزعاج وأدرك أنه غاية لا تُدرك، وهذه أبرز مشاكل جمهورية أفلاطون، أقصد البعد عن الواقعية

يقول 'كلوكلون' أحد محاوري سقراط له:- [إنك نحَّاتٌ، يا سقراط، لقد صنعت لحكامنا تماثيل آيةً في الجمال]

مع أن الجملة جاءت تعبيراً عن الإعجاب الكبير بما قاله سقراط وتأييده ولكني وجدتها تعبيراً عن القصور في فعالية الفكرة. فعلاً هم كما وصفهم كلوكلون بالتماثيل، أشخاص من عالم الخيال يمتازون بالكمال المطلق الذي أرى أنه غاية لا تدرك وواقع من المستحيل تحقيقه

اقتصادياً:- هي جمهورية اقتصادها اشتراكي الذي أجده اقتصاد ظالم و الجمهورية أساسها العدل كما فهمت؟!!

اجتماعياً:-هنا العجب العجاب، والاستنفار الشديد أثناء القراءة لا أعرف كيف اختصر الموضوع بكلمة ولكن سأنقل جملة كتبتها كثيراً على صفحات هذا الجزء من الممكن أن تعطي صورة واضحة، اجتماعياً هي أشبه {بزريبة الحيوانات} أكرمكم الله، فمفهوم العائلة مختل جداً ويشترك مع الاقتصاد من جهة الاشتراكية، فلكم أن تتخيلوا ما المقصود

هنا يجب ذكر نقطة للإنصاف وهي طبيعة المجتمع في ذلك الزمن وخصوصاً وضع المرأة فيه، عندي فكرة عن الموضوع سابقاً من قراءتي لكتابين عن أرسطو وأفلاطون وعلاقتهم بالمرأة لإمام عبد الفتاح إمام في تلك الحقبة من الزمن. لكن حل سقراط جاء بان ينتقل بالمرأة وخصوصاً 'الحرة' من ظلام الحُفر إلى الجهة الأخرى من التطرف وأقصد بأن ساواها بالرجل لدرجة أن يصبح التعري أما الملأ أثناء التمارين الرياضية والمسابقات القتالية أسوة بالرجال شيء طبيعي ومن يجد فيه علة وخصوصاً من الرجال فإن العلة والخطأ أساسها في نفسه المريضة (آليين). ولكن يحسب له أنه يعتبر أول من دعا لتعليم المرأة أسوة بالرجل

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التعريج على بعض النقاط:-

#قسًم سقراط الدول (بالعموم بعيداً عن جمهوريته) لخمسة أنواع:-
1. الدولة الأرستقراطية:- حكومة الأفضل
2. الدولة التيموقراطية:- حكومة الشرف
3. الدولة الأوليغاركيَّة:- حكومة الأغنياء
4. الدولة الديموقراطية:- حكومة الشعب
5. الاستبدادية:- حكومة الرجل الواحد

ولكم أن تتخيلوا أن هذا الترتيب تصاعد��اً هو مقياس الفساد، لم استغرب طرحة التدريجي للأنواع وصفات حاكميها ونفسيتهم ولكن استغرابي الأشد هو وصفة للدولة الديموقراطية ومساوئها، أي نعم أنها غير منزهة عن الخطأ ولكنها تعتبر أقل الحكومات شراً في نظري، مع القراءة أكثر اتضحت فكرة ما يرمي له. سقراط يعتبر أن هذه الدولة "الأعظم تنوعاً للطبائع الإنسانية والفرد يكون قادراً أن ينظم حياته الخاصة كما يريد لأنها دولة أساسها الحرية*"، إلى الآن لا توجد مشكلة على ما أعتقد ولكن للعلم تع��يف سقراط للحرية هو السبب في ذمِّه لها وطرحه الغريب للموضوع

الحرية بأن تفعل ما تشاء طالما أنك لن تؤذي أحد أو تنتهك القوانين المتفق عليها هذا متفق عليه، لكن سقراط أساس طرحه هو أن الحرية هي أن تفعل ما تشاء ولا تبالي بأحد فأنت حر وأقتبس هنا أكثر الأمور تطرفاً [ ويجب أن أضيف أن لا أحد ممن لا يعرف سيصدق كيف تكون الحرية التي لدى الحيوانات التي هي تحت سيادة الإنسان. إنها ستكون أعظم بكثير في الديموقراطية منها في أيَّة دولة أخرى لأنه يحق القول: "هي الكلاب، كما يقول المثل، هي ربَّة بيتها". وتمتلك الأحصنة والحمير طريقة للسير في موازاة مع كل الحقوق والجلال للرجل الحرّ وستدهس أي شخص ممن يأتي في طريقها إذا لم تُخلَ لها الطريق. إن كل شيء جاهز ليتفجر تماماً بالحرية] ... 'عجبي' يا فيلسوف يا سقراط!!! على رأي صلاح جاهين

# في جمهورية أفلاطون هناك تكتيك حازم حتى تنجح الخطة، من طبيعة المباح والغير مباح وتصنيف السُّكان حسب طبيعتهم وتجهيزهم بدنياً وعقلياً لمهامهم. جميل كل ما ذكره ولكنه يتكلَّم عن طبيعة بشرية التي بطبعها لها شواذ يشذون عن القاعدة ولن تكتمل الصورة المطلوبة أبداً لما يريده. و لأن شرط تحقق ما يريد هو نجاح الخطة 100%، وصفت سكَّانها بالآليين في بداية مراجعتي

# لفت انتباهي الشعر المسموح به في جمهورية أفلاطون [لكن علينا أن نبقى ثابتين في حكمنا أن الترانيم إلى الآلهة و الثناءات للرجال الشهيرين الفاضلين، هي الشعر الوحيد الذي يجب أن نقبله في دولتنا. لأنك إذا تخطَّيت ذلك وسمحت لعروس الشعر المعسولة أن تدخل، إما في مقاطع شعر البطولة أو الشعر الوجداني الغنائي، بدلاً من دخول القانون وعقل البشر الذي اعتُبِرَ الأفضل على الدوام بالرِّضا المشترك، فلن يكون الحكّام في دولتنا سوى اللذة والألم]

# هذا الكتاب سيكون متعة بلا حدود لمن يهوى التعرض للأمور الفكرية بجدلية وبمسميّات ونظريات أضمن بسماعها لأول مرة بالإضافة لتفصيص للفكرة لعدة أجزاء والخوص في تفاصيلها

#لا أعرف لماذا أحسست أن سقراط لو عاصر الإسلام لأسلم فوراً

# قرأت المحاورة بترجمة جيدة جداً لشوقي دا��د تمراز

# لماذا ثلاث نجوم؟! خمس نجوم للمتعة الفكرية ونجمة لجمهورية أفلاطون

#أخيراً هل أجرؤ على القول يا ترى أني أتمنى أن لا أكون قد نسيت شيئاً؟

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• ما بين "...*" مقتبس بتصرف
• ما بين [...] مقتبس
• وتستمر الرحلة مع المحاورات ......إلى الجزء الثاني


Profile Image for Brad Lyerla.
209 reviews164 followers
March 30, 2023
I finished reading THE REPUBLIC for the second time just now. It is arguably the second most influential book in the western canon. We all should study it.

Allan Bloom's translation is a good one -- I am told by reliable sources -- and his interpretive essay is not to be missed. (I read the essay as it appeared in the 1968 edition.) But be aware that his interpretation is not a traditional one. For example, compare Bertrand Russell's summary of Plato in his HISTORY OF WESTERN PHILOSOPHY. So don't be confused if Bloom's essay feels unfamiliar or seems to contradict other things that you may have learned or read about Plato.

After a second reading, more than forty years after the first, I am still uncertain when/whether Plato is writing esoterically. But I don't think it matters. We can decide the merits of the City in Speech for ourselves. And how do we feel about that philosophical, but unattainable regime? (We do not like it, of course. Does it make sense that Plato would have intended this? Should we score one for esoteric writing there?)

What about the timocracy devoted to honor that it will decay into? Followed by oligarchy where wealth is valued above all else? Then unruly democracy? And finally tyranny?

I read THE REPUBLIC this last time in a reading group. That's the best way to read it, I think. It was written to be discussed and puzzled over. And we did.
Profile Image for Sahar Zakaria.
345 reviews568 followers
September 29, 2021
يحلم أفلاطون بتحقيق المدينة الفاضلة التي تسودها القوانين الصحيحة والمثل العليا .. ويطرح أفكاره في صورة حوار مع معلمه سقراط الذي مثل الشخصية المحورية في الكتاب ..

يبدأ أفلاطون كتابه بتعريف مفهوم العدالة وكيف يمكن تحقيقها لدى الفرد والدولة .. ويرى أنها فضيلة يجب أن تطلب لذاتها وليس للمنافع المترتبة عليها .. ثم قسم أفلاطون المجتمع إلى ثلاث طبقات .. طبقة الحكام وتتميز بالعلم والحكمة .. وطبقة الجيش أو الحراس وتتميز بالقوة والشجاعة .. وطبقة العمال وتتميز بقوة التحمل والقدرة على الإنتاج .. وفي رأيه أن مفهوم العدالة يتحقق عندما يعمل كل شخص في طبقته فلا يتعداها إلى طبقة أخرى .. أي أن يكون الشخص المناسب في المكان المناسب ..

ثم أكد أفلاطون على أهمية التربية السليمة للنشء ، سواء التربية البدنية أو التربية الروحية على تذوق الفن والشعر والموسيقى ..  وعلى مبدأ المساواة بين الرجال والنساء في فرص التعليم والعمل .. ودعا إلى مشاركة المرأة الرجل في الحروب والتدريبات العسكرية بل وفي الحكم أيضا .. أما أغرب آرائه فيما يتعلق بالمرأة فهو وجوب شيوعية النساء والأطفال في طبقة الحراس فلا تكون المرأة زوجة لرجل بعينه ولا الأطفال أبناء لأب بعينه !!

ورأى أفلاطون أن الحكام يجب أن يكونوا فلاسفة .. وأن يتقنوا علوم الحساب والهندسة والفلك .. وأن يتصفوا بالحكمة والشجاعة وقوة الحجة .. ثم عرض أفلاطون أنواع الحكومات وخصائص كل منها وعوامل إنهيارها .. كما تحدث عن حكم الطاغية ومساوئه ..

آراء أفلاطون ، برغم أنها تعود إلى نحو أربعة قرون قبل الميلاد ، وبرغم أن بعضها غريب ومستهجن ، إلا أن أغلبها آراء حكيمة ومتزنة تتفق مع الصالح العام والأخلاق الحميدة وتصلح لتطبيقها والإسترشاد بها في العصور المختلفة ..
Profile Image for Tristan.
112 reviews233 followers
April 10, 2017
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 all this time? Stuck in a sheep’s backside?”(he guffaws, while shaking his friend's hand)

Nate [smiling feebly]: “Evening, Roger. Oh no, nothing as queer like that. Had some family business to attend to. I also have been busy reading, as a matter of fact..”

Roger: “Reading? You?”

Nate [feeling slight shame]: “Yes..”

Roger:“Didn’t peg you as the intellectual type, mate.”

Nate: “Oh, I am not, I can assure you. Let me explain. You know about that particularly nasty storm a forthnight ago?"

Roger:"Aye, the Great Storm of 2017. Already a legend in these parts."

Nate:"Well, I got myself caught in the open street during its peak, and sought shelter in the nearest building. Turned out it was the bloody library! Quite a shock, let me tell you."

Roger: “Really? I didn’t even know we had one! Didn’t Thatcher close it down back in the eighties? What the hell else did we elect her for?”(he falls prey to a violent fit of laughter, and is soon joined by the others)

(Nate waits until the noise dies down and soberly resumes his tale) "All right, men, in all seriousness now. So here I found myself in that building I had never been in before, and which I couldn’t wait to leave. But, since the storm didn’t show any sign of abating, I thought it best to stay put and kill some time browsing. What else’s a man to do, eh? Well, for some reason I ended up in the philosophy section, and found this book titled the Republic by this fella named Plato. Does that ring a bell with anyone?”

(A stout little man named Edmund enters the conversation) “Plato? Famous bloke, innit?”

Nate: “Yes, rather. In it he sort of details how society should be run by so-called philosopher kings. Rather strict in his way of approaching it, methinks. Not a lot of freedom, or much fun at all really.”

Roger: “Hmm. Got you to keep flippin' the pages though, no?”

Nate: “Pretty much. The missus always said I was a right philistine, and should get some more culture in my system. The back cover did mention it was ‘a foundational text of Western civilisation’, so I figured I might bloody well start there. I read for an hour or so, and then took it home. First time I applied for a library card, funnily enough. Finished the whole thing in two weeks. I felt real smart for an instance there. A fine feat of self-improvement, if I do say so myself.”

(A fierce looking, burly man who goes by the name of Carlyle interrupts): “A philosopher, eh? Bah! Let me tell you something, lad. Buy these fine gentlemen (he intently looks around the room) enough pints of lager and they’ll all be “philosophizin’” soon enough. Isn’t that right, men?” (the whole room shakes with laughter)

Nate [uneasy]:“Well, Plato sort of advocated that philosophy is a serious business, to be handled with a clear, well-educated mind, you know. Among other things, he also viewed alcohol as a possible hindrance to that. So that’s us out, I’m afraid.”

Roger [jumping in]: “He did, did he? Well, I am a working man with a wife and the fruit of my overactive loins to provide for. After eight hours of breaking my back in the factory, I just want to go to me pub, unwind and drink my scotch. Anything other than that is a damned luxury. Ya see my meaning here?”

Nate: [exasperatedly sighs]“I do, and you’re probably right. More than likely, reading these things is a waste of time anyway for folk like us.”

Roger: [approvingly] “That’s the spirit, laddie! Don’t concern yourself with these things, it is quite useless. We are simple folk, ye know, who don’t count at all in the grand scheme of things. Trust me, I have seen it all. Best enjoy what we have and hope for the best. Leave that lofty thinkin’ to those smug arseholes in their lofty places. I wouldn’t have it any other way meself. Damn proud to be a nobody at the bottom. At least there is honour in that. (He pauzes for a moment, immersed in thought)

Bah, enough of this. Barman, a round of drinks for all!”

(They all erupt into loud shouts of appreciation)
Profile Image for فرشاد.
150 reviews300 followers
July 21, 2014
یکی از فوق‌العاده ترین کتابهایی که تا بحال خوندم .. گرچه سبک فلسفی کتاب باعث شد تا بخش هایی رو با سختی متوجه بشم اما طریقه استدلال افلاطون واقعا بی نظیره . تووی این کتاب افلاطون درباره عدالت صحبت میکنه .. در ابتدا افلاطون شروع به ساختن یه مدینه فاضله میکنه و با ذکر جزئیات وظیفه هر عضو این جامعه رو بررسی میکنه .. بعد از این برای شناخت مفهموم عدالت از کل به جزء برمیگرده .. مثال مشهور غار رو بیان میکنه و بعد از اون انواع حکومت رو از تیموکراسی و الیگارشی و دموکراسی و دیکتاتوری مطرح میکنه .. پس ازین ها افلاطون به موضوع هنرهای زیبا بخصوص شعر و نقاشی میپردازه و اونها رو تقلیدی از حالات نفسانی و شبحی از واقعیت معرفی میکنه که باید ازشون دوری کرد .. در نهایت افلاطون مفهوم عدالت رو معرفی میکنه و با روش خاص خودش ثابت میکنه که عدالت دقیقن هفتصد و بیست و نه بار از ظلم بهتره .. فصل آخر کتاب بگمانم زیباترین بخش کتاب هم هست .. توی کتاب دهم افلاطون روح انسان رو روحی فناناپذیر و جاودان معرفی میکنه و با نقل یه داستان از شخصی بنام ار که به دنیای مردگان رفته و برگشته جمله کلیدی کتاب رو مطرح میکنه و اون این هست که انسان در زندگی باید راه میانه و اعتدال رو در پیش بگیره و از مسیر عدالت خارج نشه .. کتاب بی نظیر و فوق‌العاده اس و باید از ترجمه خووب اقای فواد روحانی هم سپاسگزار ی کرد بخاطر معرفی این اثر باشکوه به مردم ایران ...
Profile Image for Saadia  B..
181 reviews71 followers
May 7, 2021
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 interesting themes, however it is at times too much discussed and elaborated upon which makes it a bit demanding and challenging.

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Profile Image for Clay Davis.
Author 4 books116 followers
November 4, 2021
Learned a lot about ancient Greek culture. Plato makes Socrates a mental giant of his age while talking about his fantasy Republic.
Profile Image for P.E..
762 reviews529 followers
February 16, 2022
Sophrosyne and Ataraxia

A seminal work consisting of several dialogues all about the definition of the just, and, more especially, the just City (πολιτεία).

Buddy-read with Matthew Ted - thanks, pal!



'celui qui est en mesure de commettre l'injustice et qui est réellement un homme ne s'engagerait jamais dans une convention pour empêcher de connaître l'injustice et de la subir. Il serait bien fou de le faire.'

'mis à part ceux qu'un naturel divin dégoûte de l'injustice ou encore que l'emprise d'un savoir tient éloignés d'elle, il ne se trouve personne parmi les autres qui soit juste de son plein gré ; et si on blâme l'injustice, c'est que le manque de courage, la vieillesse, ou quelque autre faiblesse rend impuissant à la commettre.'


'— il nous faut donc commencer, semble-t-il, par contrôler les fabricateurs d'histoires. Lorsqu'il en fabrique de bonnes, il faut les retenir, et celles qui ne le sont pas, il faut les rejeter. Nous exhorterons ensuite les nourrices et les mères à raconter aux enfants les histoires que nous aurons choisies et à façonner leurs âmes avec ces histoires.'


'Chacune d'elles constitue en effet une multiplicité de cités, et non pas une seule cité, selon l'expression des joueurs. Il y en a d'abord deux, quelle que soit la cité, en guerre l'une contre l'autre, la cité des pauvres et la cité des riches. Dans chacune de ces deux cités, il s'en trouve par ailleurs une multiplicité ; si tu les considérais comme une seule, tu te tromperais complètement [...].

'existe-t-il pour la cité un mal plus grand que celui qui la déchire et la morcelle au lieu de l'unifier ? Existe-t-il un plus grand bien que ce qui en assure le lien et l'unité ?

[...] Or, la communauté du plaisir et de la peine lie ensemble, lorsque tous les citoyens se réjouissent ou s'affligent autant que possible de la même manière de leurs gains ou de leurs pertes'


'quand il s'agit de contribuer à l'excellence de la cité, un compétiteur qui entre en rivalité avec sa sagesse, sa modération et son courage, c'est la capacité pour chacun de ceux qui résident dans la cité de s'occuper de sa tâche propre.'

'que l'homme juste n'autorise aucune partie de lui-même à réaliser des tâches qui lui sont étrangères, [...] qu'il se dirige lui-même et s'ordonne lui-même, qu'il devienne ami pour lui-même, [...] qu'il lie ensemble tous ces principes de manière à devenir, lui qui a une constitution plurielle, un être entièrement unifié, modéré et en harmonie.'

'tu as oublié qu'il n'importe pas à la loi qu'une classe particulière de la cité atteigne au bonheur de manière distinctive, mais que la loi veut mettre en œuvre les choses de telle manière que cela se produise dans la cité tout entière, en mettant les citoyens en harmonie par la persuasion et la nécessité, et en faisant en sorte que tous offrent les uns aux autres les services dont chacun est capable [...].'


'affirmons-nous donc également que les âmes douées des meilleurs naturels, si elles subissent une mauvaise éducation, deviendront particulièrement mauvaises ? Ou alors crois-tu que les grandes injustices et la perversité pure soient le fait d'une âme médiocre, et non pas d'une âme vigoureuse gâtée par les conditions de son milieu de croissance ?'

'Ils prendraient la cité et les caractères des êtres humains comme une tablette à esquisser, dis-je, et en premier lieu, ils la nettoyeraient, ce qui déjà n'est pas facile. Mais tu vois dès lors qu'ils seraient, ce faisant, très différents des autres, du simple fait de refuser de s'engager à rédiger des lois pour une cité [...] avant de l'avoir reçue propre, ou d'avoir opéré ce nettoyage eux-mêmes.'

'Ceux qui dans la cité, dis-je, auront de fait dépassé l'âge de dix ans, [les vrais philosophes] les enverront tous à la campagne, et ils protègeront leurs propres enfants des mœurs de l'époque actuelle, qui sont justement les mœurs de leurs parents, et ils les élèveront selon leurs propres conceptions et selon leurs lois.'
[ce qui n'est pas sans rappeler la Révolution culturelle chinoise par certains côtés]


'ils vivent toute leur vie sans jamais être les amis de personne, ils sont toujours les maîtres ou les esclaves de quelqu'un d'autre. Car pour ce qui est de la liberté et de l'amitié véritables, la nature tyrannique ne les goûtera jamais.'

Controversial themes:

- Unvoluntary evil thesis

- Eugenics

'[Asclépios] n'a pas pensé qu'il fallait soigner celui qui n'était pas en mesure de vivre une vie d'une durée normale, parce que cela ne présente aucun intérêt ni pour lui ni pour la cité.'

'Quant à ceux qui ne sont pas bien dotés, dans le cas de ceux qui ne disposent pas d'une bonne constitution physique, on leur permettra de mourir, et dans le cas de ceux qui sont dans leur âme d'un naturel vicié et qui sont inguérissables, ces magistrats les feront mourir eux-mêmes.'

- Equation of right, just and beauty:

'Cela montre combien sot est celui qui trouve ridicule autre chose que ce qui est mal, également celui qui entreprend de faire rire en tournant en ridicule tout autre spectacle que ce qui est insensé et mauvais, et de la même manière, pour ce qui est de la vision du beau, également sot celui qui tend tous ses efforts en se déterminant vers tout autre but que le bien.'

'posons que tous les experts en poésie, à commencer par Homère, sont des imitateurs des simulacres de la vertu et de tous les autres simulacres qui inspirent leurs compositions poétiques, et qu'ils n'atteignent pas la vérité.'

Cf Nietzsche
'The falseness of an opinion is not for us any objection to it: it is here, perhaps, that our new language sounds most strangely. The question is, how far an opinion is life-furthering, life- preserving, species-preserving, perhaps species-rearing, and we are fundamentally inclined to maintain that the falsest opinions (to which the synthetic judgments a priori belong), are the most indispensable to us, that without a recognition of logical fictions, without a comparison of reality with the purely IMAGINED world of the absolute and immutable, without a constant counterfeiting of the world by means of numbers, man could not live--that the renunciation of false opinions would be a renunciation of life, a negation of life. TO RECOGNISE UNTRUTH AS A CONDITION OF LIFE; that is certainly to impugn the traditional ideas of value in a dangerous manner, and a philosophy which ventures to do so, has thereby alone placed itself beyond good and evil.'

[F. Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil.]


Ancient Greece (fiction):
The Symposium

History of Ancient Greece:
Sparte - Histoire politique et sociale jusqu'à la conquête romaine
L'univers, les dieux, les hommes

Modern and contemporary politics:
La rebelión de las masas
Capital and Ideology
Interventionism: An Economic Analysis

Race et histoire
Beyond Good and Evil
On the Genealogy of Morals

Other fictions:
The Martian Chronicles
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