_Understanding Plato’s Republic_ is an accessible introduction to the concepts of justice that inform Plato’s Republic, elucidating the ancient philosopher's main argument that we would be better off leading just lives rather than unjust ones Provides a much needed up to date discussion of _The Republic_'s fundamental ideas and Plato's main argument Discusses the unity and coherence of _The Republic_ as a whole Written in a lively style, informed by over 50 years of teaching experience Reveals rich insights into a (...) timeless classic that holds remarkable relevance to the modern world. (shrink)
_The Blackwell Guide to Plato’s Republic_ consists of thirteen new essays written by both established scholars and younger researchers with the specific aim of helping readers to understand Plato’s masterwork. This guide to Plato’s _Republic_ is designed to help readers understand this foundational work of the Western canon. Sheds new light on many central features and themes of the Republic. Covers the literary and philosophical style of the _Republic_; Plato’s theories of justice and knowledge; his educational theories; and his treatment (...) of the divine. Will be of interest to readers who are new to the _Republic_, and those who already have some familiarity with the book. (shrink)
What is love? Why do we idealize those whom we love? How do we choose whom to love? Are some kinds of love better than others? Each age returns to these questions with renewed perplexity. Gerasimos Santas examinees the two greatest theoretical architectures of love, side by side. It provides a thorough critical description and comparison of these theories, allowing a sophisticated dialogue to emerge between the two thinkers. In the first half of the book Professor Santas reconstructs and explains (...) Plato's theories of eros and philia: erotic love, familial love and friendship. He attempt to show that Plato's was a unified theory in which erotic love has a special connecion with creativity and beauty. He then discusses Freud's notion of love as distinct from, though based on, his general theory of sexuality. He discusses in detail Freud's explanations, before and after narcissism, of idealization and choice of beloved. Freud too, it emerges, had a unified theory of love: all love has its origins in the libidinal instincts of infancy and childhood. The book concludes by showing that, despite Freud's claim that his theory of love is 'Platonic', the two theories are instructively different. (shrink)
Plato's antidemocratic theory of social justice is instructive once we distinguish between the abstract parts of his theory and the empirical or other assumptions he uses in applying that theory. His application may have contained empirical mistakes, and it may have been burdened too much with a prolific metaphysics and a demanding epistemology. An attempt is made to look at his theory of social justice in imaginary isolation from empirical mistakes and from his metaphysics and epistemology. It is then argued (...) that some of Plato's proposals and criticisms of democracy are well worth our attention, especially in the case of governing. His attempt to separate ruling and wealth and to establish economic floors and ceilings for his ideal city seems especially instructive in view of problems in these areas that modern democracies have experienced. Isolating his theory of social justice from his epistemology and metaphysics may be more problematic. Still, Plato's insistence that superior wisdom is the central virtue of rulers is instructive, and in this respect some modern defenders of democratic justice, such as J. S. Mill and John Rawls, have leaned some in Plato's direction. Finally, Plato's criticism of democratic free choice of occupation is less persuasive. Footnotesa I wish to thank the other contributors to this volume, and its editors, for many helpful comments. (shrink)
This chapter contains sections titled: What is Justice? Socrates Divides the Question What is a Just Society? The Problem of Justice, and How Socrates Tries to Solve It The Functional Theory of Good and Virtue Plato's Definitions of Justice and the other Virtues of his Completely Good City Return to Plato's Methods for Discovering Justice.
The original essays in this volume discuss ideas relating to democracy, political justice, equality and inequalities in the distribution of resources and public goods. These issues were as vigorously debated at the height of ancient Greek democracy as they are in many democratic societies today. Contributing authors address these issues and debates about them from both philosophical and historical perspectives. Readers will discover research on the role of Athenian democracy in moderating economic inequality and reducing poverty, on ancient debates about (...) how to respond to inborn and social inequalities, and on Plato’s and Aristotle’s critiques of Greek participatory democracies. Early chapters examine Plato’s views on equality, justice, and the distribution of political and non-political goods, including his defense of the abolition of private property for the ruling classes and of the equality of women in his ideal constitution and polis. Other papers discuss views of Socrates or Aristotle that are particularly relevant to contemporary political and economic disputes about punishment, freedom, slavery, the status of women, and public education, to name a few. This thorough consideration of the ancient Greeks' work on democracy, justice, and equality will appeal to scholars and researchers of the history of philosophy, Greek history, classics, as well as those with an interest in political philosophy. (shrink)
This chapter contains sections titled: Why does Thrasymachus Think that Justice is the Interest of the Rulers? Socrates' Refutations of Thrasymachus' Premises Is [the] Justice [of Thrasymachus] Good for Me? Thrasymachus Unconvinced, Socrates Dissatisfied. What Has Gone Wrong?
This chapter contains sections titled: Ideals as Standards and their Approximations The Paradox of the Philosopher‐king: Knowledge and Political Power Knowledge and Opinions Platonic Forms and Physical Particulars Plato's Theory of the Form of the Good Knowledge of Good How Elitist is Plato's Completely Good City?
This chapter contains sections titled: Political Equalities and Economic Inequalities Platonic Knowledge and Democratic Ruling Plato's Criticisms of Democratic Freedoms Plato's Democratic Character: Freedom and Equality in the Human Psyche Plato's Criticisms of his Democratic Character.
This chapter contains sections titled: Introduction The Great Questions of Ethics in the Republic Theories of Justice and Happiness Plato Opposes and their Methods Plato's own Theory of Justice and Happiness and his own Methods Conclusion References and Recommended Reading.
This chapter contains sections titled: The Analogy between a Just City and a Just Soul Plato's Analysis of the Human Psyche Parts of the Human Psyche: Faculties or Agents? Just, Temperate, Brave, and Wise Human Souls Plato's Ideal of Rationality The Virtues and Vices of the City‐soul Analogy.
This chapter contains sections titled: The Blindfold of Justice Does Plato's Justice wear a Blindfold? The Gender Blindfold of Plato's Justice Was Plato an Advocate of Women's Rights? Was He a Feminist?