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Plato the Republic

Plato the Republic

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Published by: xto99 on Aug 20, 2010
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The Republic
This electronic book is a publication ofthe Pennsylvania State UniversitysElectronic Classics Series,Jim Manis, Faculty Editor
The Republic 
by Platois a publication of the Pennsylvania State University. This Portable DocumentFile is furnished free and without any charge of any kind.
Any person using this document file,for any purpose, and in any way does so at his or her own risk.
Neither the Pennsylvania StateUniversity nor Jim Manis, Faculty Editor, nor anyone associated with the Pennsylvania State Univer-sity assumes any responsibility for the material contained within the document or for the file as anelectronic transmission, in any way.
The Republic 
by Plato, the Pennsylvania State University,
Electronic Classics Series,
Jim Manis, Fac-ulty Editor, Hazleton, PA 18201-1291 is a Portable Document File produced as part of an ongoingstudent publication project to bring classical works of literature, in English, to free and easy accessof those wishing to make use of them.Copyright © 1998 The Pennsylvania State UniversityCover design by Jim Manis, Statue of Plato.
The Pennsylvania State University is an equal opportunity university.
(360 B.C.)
translated by Benjamin Jowett
The Republic of Plato is the longest of his works with theexception of the Laws, and is certainly the greatest of them.There are nearer approaches to modern metaphysics in thePhilebus and in the Sophist; the Politicus or Statesman ismore ideal; the form and institutions of the State are moreclearly drawn out in the Laws; as works of art, the Sympo-sium and the Protagoras are of higher excellence. But noother Dialogue of Plato has the same largeness of view andthe same perfection of style; no other shows an equal knowl-edge of the world, or contains more of those thoughts whichare new as well as old, and not of one age only but of all.Nowhere in Plato is there a deeper irony or a greater wealthof humor or imagery, or more dramatic power. Nor in anyother of his writings is the attempt made to interweave lifeand speculation, or to connect politics with philosophy. TheRepublic is the centre around which the other Dialoguesmay be grouped; here philosophy reaches the highest pointto which ancient thinkers ever attained. Plato among theGreeks, like Bacon among the moderns, was the first whoconceived a method of knowledge, although neither of themalways distinguished the bare outline or form from the sub-stance of truth; and both of them had to be content with anabstraction of science which was not yet realized. He wasthe greatest metaphysical genius whom the world has seen;and in him, more than in any other ancient thinker, thegerms of future knowledge are contained. The sciences of logic and psychology, which have supplied so many instru-ments of thought to after-ages, are based upon the analysesof Socrates and Plato. The principles of definition, the lawof contradiction, the fallacy of arguing in a circle, the dis-tinction between the essence and accidents of a thing ornotion, between means and ends, between causes and con-ditions; also the division of the mind into the rational,concupiscent, and irascible elements, or of pleasures anddesires into necessary and unnecessary—these and othergreat forms of thought are all of them to be found in theRepublic, and were probably first invented by Plato. The

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