The Republic

The Republic

3.95 (187,056 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by  , Introduction by 

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The classic translation of the cornerstone work of western philosophy

Plato's Republic is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential works in the history of philosophy. Presented in the form of a dialogue between Socrates and three different interlocutors, it is an inquiry 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; what is knowledge; what is the purpose of education? With remarkable lucidity and deft use of allegory, Plato arrives at a depiction of a state bound by harmony and ruled by 'philosopher kings'.

Translated by DESMOND LEE with an Introduction by MELISSA LANE
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Penguin Classics

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Product details

  • Paperback | 480 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 20mm | 330g
  • Penguin Classics
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • 2nd ed.
  • 0140455116
  • 9780140455113
  • 3,176

About Plato

Plato (c.427-347 BC) stands with Socrates and Aristotle as one of the shapers of the whole intellectual tradition of the West. He founded in Athens the Academy, the first permanent institution devoted to philosophical research and teaching, and theprototype of all Western universities. Desmond Lee was a fellow and tutor of Classics at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and later became President of St Hughes Hall, Cambridge.

Melissa Lane received her PhD in Philosophy from Cambridge University. She teaches the history of political thought and political philosophy in the History Faculty at Cambridge University, and is a Fellow of King's College. Her books include Method and Politics in Plato's Statesman (Cambridge, 1998) and Plato's Progeny: how Plato and Socrates still captivate the modern mind (Duckworth, 2001).
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Rating details

187,056 ratings
3.95 out of 5 stars
5 36% (67,319)
4 34% (63,398)
3 22% (41,251)
2 6% (10,619)
1 2% (4,469)

Our customer reviews

Firstly, the pressing of this version felt a little fragile compared to the rest of the Penguin Classics range. I felt like I had to be careful with the front cover. Possibly just my one, as the rest in the series have been fantastic. The book itself is indisputably the foundation of Western philosophy, although I guarantee you won't always agree with it. Socrates has some very odd views on some areas of society; for example he advocates the abolition of the family unit and the establishment of sex festivals where the best of the rulers are mated to produce the ideal offspring, and children are separated at birth. It's certainly one of the most revolutionary insights into not only political science, but also from a social perspective. Equality of women, a system resembling Communism in some ways (the abolition of private property for the Guardian class for example), and what many would call a statement of totalitarian ideals centuries, even millennia before the rest of the world caught up are just some of the innovations presented in The Republic. A great starting place for those interested in philosophy and political science alike. The pressing was a little annoying, but the introduction was fantastic, and the translation easy to read. ie: buy more
by Mitch Wellstead
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