and the literary scenes Plato narrates in which two or more interlocutors, never Plato himself, discuss a specific theme, be it courage, love, virtue, or the just, the focus of the Republic. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime. The dialogue seems to deviate from most of Plato’s other works in that it explicitly lays out philosophical ideas. Written by Gil Rubin, Department of History, Columbia University, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy at http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/plato/, Columbia University in the City of New York, 208 Hamilton HallMail Code 28051130 Amsterdam AvenueNew York, NY 10027, © 2020 Columbia University | Privacy Policy | Notice of Non-Discrimination | Terms of Use | Accessibility | University Home Page. Parts of the books present Plato’s “theory of forms” according to which the material world is an image or copy of a higher, abstract and unchanging world, while other parts closely detail Plato’s view of an ideal political society. Why did Plato write The Republic? Reading The Republic by Platon may sound weird and worthless when you ask people. The Republic is arguably the most popular and most widely taught of Plato's writings. Our summaries and analyses are written by experts, and your questions are answered by real teachers. Another theory for why he wrote these dialogues can be analysed in relation to Plato’s Republic. It was both the golden age of Athenian democracy and power – under the rule of Pericles in the 440’s and 430’s democratic Athens was quickly transforming into a regional hegemon. Still, we don’t know for sure, and may never know. why did plato write the republic essay The above-mentioned views have in common that they view the Republic as a theoretical work, not as a set of guidelines for good governance. Plato’s Republic, which discusses the meaning of justice and the structure of an ideal society and soul, is considered by many as the cornerstone of Plato’s corpus. Background Information on Plato. Plato write the Republic as a dialogue in order to use the Socratic method of questioning (sometimes called the "elenchus"). I needed to write a repot and i know he wrote the republic but not what it talked about and why he wrote it. Born in 427 B.C to a wealthy family of Athens, Plato was expected to be a supporter of aristocracy. Some scholars claim Plato’s vision of an ideal society in the Republic is not one he genuinely hoped would come to life or rather merely a caricature, a philosophical demonstration of the futility of political utopianism. The Athenian philosopher Plato (c.428-347 B.C.) Reason #3: Plato’s Republic. BCB students enrolled in the Plato course or those who have already completed it will understand what I mean when I say the book raises more questions than it answers, and that it necessitates discussion. In the Republic, Plato's ideal city-state can be see as a metaphor for the soul, with which it has close parallels. Overview. What is the foundation of your life? One would not claim that it is just to return weapons one owes to a mad friend (331c), thus justice is not being truthful and returning what one owes as Cephalus claims. The Republic is consider by many to be Plato's masterwork. As already mentioned, the same skepticism about the Bible can be leveled against the Qur’an. philosophical movement Plato was his own philosophical movement, known as “Platonism.”. "The Republic" is the centerpiece of Plato's philosophy, centrally concerned with how people acquire knowledge about beauty, justice, and good. Plato had also attended courses of philosophy; before meeting Socrates, he first became acquainted with Cratylus and the Heraclitean doctrines. Log in here. Why did Plato write the republic? In both cases, reason must always be in charge. These writings, ‘onnature’, ‘on truth’, ‘on being’ and soon, mostly in prose, some in verse, were demonstrative, not protreptic.Plato, on the other hand, broke away from the experts and sought totreat ethical problems of … I need detailed answers... What are the differences between John Locke's and Rousseau's philosophies? The Republic is thought to have been written in what is called Plato’s middle period. ©2020 eNotes.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved. In both the soul and the city-state, what matters is a harmonious balance of the respective elements. When was The Republic - Plato - created? decadents_pleasure. Favorite Answer. It failed to nurture wisdom. Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Plato: The Republic Since the mid-nineteenth century, the Republic has been Plato’s most famous and widely read dialogue. The dialogue seems to deviate from most of Plato’s other works in that it explicitly lays out philosophical ideas. Philosophers like Plato, Socrates, Heraclitus and Aristotle etc. The story includes an account of the cosmos and the afterlife that greatly influenced religious, philosophical, and scientific thought for many centuries. The Republic, which heavily criticizes myth, ends with a myth of its own known as the “Myth of Er” – what are we to make of this and how does this shape our understanding of Plato’s critique of mythology and the success of Socrates and his interlocutors in responding to Thraysmachus’ challenge? In the Republic, Plato's ideal city-state can be see as a metaphor for the soul, with which it has close parallels. “It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates... What is the relationship between thinking and language? 1 decade ago. Socrates was famous for asking those who claimed to have adequate theories of say truth or happiness, pointed question designed to show they really did … panzerfahrer81. Why did this happen? For whom did Plato write? Was it to lay out his opinion of the best form of government - through philosopher-kings, guardians, ... Relevance. Plato wishes to further build upon the theories that Socrates taught him and thus thinks it is best to write Republic out of Socrates' point of view. Plato was the first Western philosopher to apply philosophy to politics. It certainly is one of the most important texts of political theory. Scholars concur that Plato authored 36 dialogues. He wrote it because he went and studied many governments, and he wanted to create the best government he could. As in most other Platonic dialogues the main character is Socrates. Among the fundamental questions to ask in reading the text is why Plato deemed all these topics essential to the question of the just. The Republic is encyclopediac, addressing in great depth and with wide reach the domains and spheres of philosophy, from education, to ethics, to politics, and beyond. In Greek, the title of the work is understood as Politea, which can be rendered something closer to “forms of government” or perhaps “constitution.” This later choice, constitution, seems to capture the text’s focus on the deep relationship between the vibrancy of the polis and political community and the flourishing of the individual. Why did Plato write the republic? The Allegory of the Cave uses the metaphor of prisoners chained in the dark to explain the difficulties of reaching and sustaining a … Or in other words, how are we to properly conceptualize the relationship between Socrates the mentor and Plato the student? Was it to lay out his opinion of the best form of government - through philosopher-kings, guardians, and craftsmen? In many of the standard narratives that political theory tells about its history and origins, Plato’s Republic stands out as a kind of foundation text of the discipline itself. gives a good summary of the scholarly results, which I won’t bother repeating. The Republic … Another theory for why he wrote these dialogues can be analysed in relation to Plato’s Republic. The apparently systematic qualities of the Republic have only amplified the interpretive challenges inherent in Plato’s works. Plato’s Republic is a Socratic dialogue concerning justice in the context of examining the character of the just man and the order of a just polity.. The Allegory of the Cave uses the metaphor of prisoners chained in the dark to explain the difficulties of reaching and sustaining a … They are led to Polemarchus’ house (328b). Socrates and Glaucon visit the Piraeus to attend a festival in honor of the Thracian goddess Bendis (327a). Relevance. Death of Socrates by Jacque-Louis David, 1787 (Wikimedia Commons). Who are the experts?Our certified Educators are real professors, teachers, and scholars who use their academic expertise to tackle your toughest questions. After the death of Socrates, Plato may have traveled extensively in Greece, Italy, and Egypt, though on such particulars the evidence is uncertain.The followers of Pythagoras (c. 580–c. Overview. If two or more figures speak in a dialogue, how do we ascertain which view is Plato’s? 1 Answer. Already a member? As Plato’s most celebrated work of political theory, it is usually the first text taught in introductory surveys of the history of political thought. Yes, he did banish Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes – the greatest names of Greek literature. Every dialogue, and especially this one, is an organized whole, and none of the parts will be fully understood if the nature of the whole is overlooked. The Peloponnesian War (431-404) fought between Athens and a coalition of states led by its bitter enemy Sparta resulted in Athens’ defeat and the temporary overthrow of Athenian democracy which, for many, was ultimately responsible for the failure at war. (The entire section contains 4 answers and 650 words.). The dominant interpretation of the Republic in the 20th century was due to Karl Popper’s work The Open Society and It’s Enemies. These challenges are in turn complicated by the fact that the main protagonist and interlocutor in Plato’s dialogues is his mentor Socrates, the enigmatic Athenian philosopher whose life and thought we know of primarily through Plato’s writings. According to James Rachels, what lessons can be learned from cultural relativism? Favorite Answer. Plato is afraid of receiving criticism for his work and uses Socrates as the narrator, giving Plato the possibility of deflecting criticism on his teacher. Yet he also made notoriously negative remarks about the value of writing. In many of the standard narratives that political theory tells about its history and origins, Plato’s Republic stands out as a kind of foundation text of the discipline itself. Plato, In "The Republic," Plato sums up his views in an image of ignorant humanity, trapped in the depths and not even aware of its own limited perspective. 1 Answer. Educators go through a rigorous application process, and every answer they submit is reviewed by our in-house editorial team. In Plato's ideal city-state, each class has a specific function to fill: the guardians rule; the auxiliaries provide defense; and the common folk toil and spin. Like the city-state, the soul contains three elements, which must maintain a harmonious relationship with each other if the soul is to remain in a healthy condition. As Plato’s most celebrated work of political theory, it is usually the first text taught in introductory surveys of the history of political thought. Relevance. Others see a nascent feminism in the text’s recommendation that women  should be political leaders and also, on a more negative note,  find in the text a forerunner of state sponsored eugenics.About a third of the the Republic is dedicated to a fierce criticism of Athenian poets and their mythologies - why would a book about justice dedicate so much attention to art? A final irony is that Plato’s advocacy of censorship of art, poetry, and bad characters (Books III and X) could perhaps prohibit The Republic from existing in his own ideal state. What all this means is that we should trust the ancient reports that Plato wrote the Republic more than we should trust the information that Mark, say, wrote the Gospel of Mark. While Plato’s writings are rooted in this dynamic political context, and the major themes we will encounter in the Republic such as his critique of democracy and of Athenian educators and poets cannot be fully appreciated outside it. Among the most important of these abstract objects (as they are now called, because they are not located in spac… 1 decade ago. The Republic is consider by many to be Plato's masterwork. Socrates speaks to Cephalus about old age, the benefits of being wealthy, and justice (328e-331d). Why did Plato write The Republic? author Plato. His ideas on, for example, the nature and value of justice, and the relationship between justice and politics, have been extraordinarily influential. It starts out as a dialogu… Top subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics. The discussion bet… In the Republic, Plato's ideal city-state can be see as a metaphor for the soul, with which it has close parallels. eNotes.com will help you with any book or any question. The second half of the 5th century BCE was a tumultuous period in Athens. BCB students enrolled in the Plato course or those who have already completed it will understand what I mean when I say the book raises more questions than it answers, and that it necessitates discussion. Plato’s Republic, which discusses the meaning of justice and the structure of an ideal society and soul, is considered by many as the cornerstone of Plato’s corpus. Instead, Plato’s thought is conveyed through dialogues, in the model of Socratic inquiry, elenchus. Many people associate Plato with a few central doctrines that are advocated in his writings: The world that appears to our senses is in some way defective and filled with error, but there is a more real and perfect realm, populated by entities (called forms or ideas) that are eternal, changeless, and in some sense paradigmatic for the structure and character of the world presented to our senses. Philosophy How do interpret this paragraph " Answer Save. In his Republic, Plato describes an ideal City in which a wise philosopher such as Socrates (about to be executed by Athens, here) would rule. Plato write the Republic as a dialogue in order to use the Socratic method of questioning (sometimes called the elenchus). What are some examples of redemption in literature? The Myth of Er is a legend that concludes Plato's Republic (10.614–10.621). language Ancient Greek. Who was his readership? In the Republic Plato reasons his way (by means of a lively discussion at a dinner party) to a description of the perfect political system. The Republic is arguably the most popular and most widely taught of Plato's writings.Although it contains its dramatic moments and it employs certain literary devices, it is not a play, a novel, a story; it is not, in a strict sense, an essay. 1 decade ago. Although it contains its dramatic moments and it employs certain literary devices, it is not a play, a novel, a story; it is not, in a strict sense, an essay. There’s a reason to believe that Plato used Socrates to express his ideas in his work “The Republic.” Some assume that Plato was using the character of Socrates all the time, to express his views. Why did Plato write the Apology? The multiplicity of voices poses a major interpretive challenge. Written after the Peloponnesian War, The Republicreflected Plato’s perception of politics as a dirty business that sought mainly to manipulate the unthinking masses. Plato was a wrestler, and Dicaearchus went so far as to say that Plato wrestled at the Isthmian games. The structure of Plato’s Republic I think the structure of the Republic is vitally important to understanding its meaning. Plato's Republic: One of the earliest and most influential works on politics ever written, Plato's Republic analyzes the ideal state. Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, A Committee for the Second Century of the Core, Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement, Eric H. Holder Jr. Initiative for Civil and Political Rights. Define Philosophy, and explain its importance in education? What is the foundation of your life? Members of Plato’s family, though not Plato himself, were involved in the coup. If Socrates is the main figure in Plato’s dialogues, is he there then to speak for Plato himself? About Plato's Republic. author Plato. Plato write the Republic as a dialogue in order to use the Socratic method of questioning (sometimes called the "elenchus"). Most commentators take Plato’s Republic to be a prescription for a model society, and either embrace or balk at its totalitarian overtones. panzerfahrer81. He wrote it in order to explore the notion of justice and specifically if the 'just' man can be happier than the 'unjust' man. A very good surveyof this topic is Yunis 2007 from which I would like to quote thefollowing illuminating passage: “before Plato, philosopherstreated arcane subjects in technical treatises that had no appealoutside small circles of experts. Plato - Plato - Dialogue form: Glimpsed darkly even through translation’s glass, Plato is a great literary artist. are born once in centuries; and the knowledge and teachings they impart to the people of that era are to be written in gold and saved as eternal script. The Republic - Plato - was created in -380. Who wrote 'The Republic'? full title The Republic. to spread socrates' words of wisdom. Robert Spencer’s book Did Muhammad Exist? I would suggest you read it. Moreover, many of the dialogues end without a definite conclusion, what the Greeks termed aporia, in which case how do we understand what the dialogue was at all intended to convey? Plato is famous for having banished poetry and poets from the ideal city of the Republic. Plato: Plato was a Greek philosopher who opened a school in Athens between the 5th and 4th century BC. Is there a difference between Plato’s and Socrates’ thought? Why did Plato write The Republic? For a book ostensibly about politics, why spend so much time talking about education? philosophical movement Plato was his own philosophical movement, known as “Platonism.”. Politeia; Latin: De Republica ) is a Socratic dialogue, authored by Plato around 375 BC, concerning justice (δικαιοσύνη), the order and character of the just city-state, and the just man. Why didn’t they make Jesus do it (as the Gospel of John says)? A healthy society mirrors a healthy soul. What is the importance of philosophy in your life and how do you apply it at work, such as in occupational therapy? What is cultural relativism, and what are its advantages and disadvantages? Plato invokes Damon many times in the Republic. Just as the guardians, the philosopher-kings, must control the more unruly elements in society, so too must the rational part of the soul control the irrational appetitive and spirited elements. Unlike many other philosophers, Plato’s ideas are rarely explicitly or systematically set forth. I needed to write a repot and i know he wrote the republic but not what it talked about and why he wrote it. But he did no such thing. Favourite answer. Yet it was also a period in which the Athenian polis experienced a rapid decline. Answer Save. language Ancient Greek. Written in 380 BC, The Republic essentially consists of Socrates discussing the meaning and nature of justice with various men, speculating how different hypothetical cities, underpinned by different forms of justice, would fare. Why did Plato write The Republic? In turn, Plato has immortalized this 'learning exercise' in the Republic. We don’t know. These are just some of the interpretive challenges that appear in the Republic, challenges to which a close reading perpetually yields new answers. Plato: The Dialogue Form - Republic. Why pick on this guy? explaination. "The Republic" is the centerpiece of Plato's philosophy, centrally concerned with how people acquire knowledge about beauty, justice, and good. About Plato's Republic. The rare individual escapes the limitations of that cave and, through a long, tortuous intellectual journey, discovers a higher realm, a true reality, with a final, almost mystical awareness of Goodness as the origin of everything that exists. Socrates was famous for asking those who claimed to have adequate theories of say truth or happiness, pointed question designed to show they really did … And what Plato defines as justice consists of each class performing its function for the good of the overall community. It is generally accepted that the Republic belongs to the dialogues of Plato’s middle period. What is the influence of Romanticism on today's culture? What all this means is that we should trust the ancient reports that Plato wrote the Republic more than we should trust the information that Mark, say, wrote the Gospel of Mark. full title The Republic. 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. These challenges have preoccupied scholars of Greek philosophy for centuries, and while they have no definite answers they nonetheless help to account for the richness that makes Plato’s texts so engaging. Also explain how education and philosophy are interrelated? The Republic (Greek: Πολιτεία, translit. In his Republic, Plato describes an ideal City in which a wise philosopher such as Socrates (about to be executed by Athens, here) would rule. On the contrary, poetry – the right sort of poetry – will be a pervasive presence in the society he describes. Death of Socrates by Jacque-Louis David, 1787 (Wikimedia Commons). I would suggest you read it. Top subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences, Top subjects are Literature, History, and Science. Socrates was famous for asking those who claimed to have adequate theories of say truth or happiness, pointed question designed to show they really did …