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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
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Product details

  • Paperback | 250 pages
  • 152 x 228 x 16mm | 381.02g
  • 03 May 2010
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
  • Wiley-Blackwell (an imprint of John Wiley & Sons Ltd)
  • Chichester, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1. Auflage
  • 1405120185
  • 9781405120180
  • 599,336

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.

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