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Plato's 'Republic'
A Critical Guide

$32.99 (C)

Part of Cambridge Critical Guides

G. R. F. Ferrari, Rachel Barney, Julia Annas, Rachana Kamtekar, Christopher Shields, J. H. Lesher, Hugh H. Benson, C. D. C. Reeve, Malcolm Schofield, Nicholas D. Smith, Zena Hitz, Mark L. McPherran
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  • Date Published: May 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107681224

$ 32.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Plato's Republic has proven to be of astounding influence and importance. Justly celebrated as Plato's central text, it brings together all of his prior works, unifying them into a comprehensive vision that is at once theological, philosophical, political, and moral. These essays provide a state-of-the-art research picture of the most interesting aspects of the Republic, and address questions that continue to puzzle and provoke, such as: Does Plato succeed in his argument that the life of justice is the most attractive one? Is his tripartite analysis of the soul coherent and plausible? Why does Plato seem to have to force his philosopher-guardians to rule when they know this is something that they ought to do? What is the point of the strange and complicated closing Myth of Er? This volume will be essential to those looking for thoughtful and detailed excursions into the problems posed by Plato's text and ideas.

    • Offers fresh perspectives on one of the most read and most widely taught of Plato's dialogues
    • Provides a better understanding of Plato's virtue theory
    • Traces out a plausible answer to the vexing question: 'why be moral?'
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "In the past few years, the Republic 's readers have already been lucky enough to see two other fine anthologies dedicated to that dialogue.... This new Critical Guide is much shorter than those, but it stands well in their company and shares some contributors with them (including McPherran himself). This volume, a collection of papers that were mostly presented at a 2008 conference, is pitched to specialists slightly more than the other anthologies are.... its selections are shorter, so even the difficult chapters feel more inviting than longer versions of them would have been. Freshness is at a premium.... rich assortment.... a wide spectrum of issues has been updated in this excellent book. Every philosopher who has thought about the Republic will find something here that illuminates an aspect of the dialogue; specialists will want to spend time with many of the twelve selections."
    --Nickolas Pappas, City University of New York, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

    "Plato lovers will rejoice at this new Cambridge collection of critical essays on Plato’s Republic.... This volume, part of the Cambridge Critical Guide Series, is not intended for the novice reader but for veteran Plato scholars who crave a more detailed critical journey into the classical text. It is an outstanding work, with essay after essay offering new food for Platonic thought. It is suitable for graduate students of ancient philosophy, psychology or political theory and will be a thorough delight for the seasoned scholar. Bravo, Cambridge and editor McPherran! Kudos as well to contributors Rachel Barney, Rachana Kamtekar, Nicholas Smith, Zena Hitz, and J. H. Lesher."
    --Wendy Hamblet, Adelphi University, Philosophy in Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2013
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107681224
    • length: 288 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.39kg
    • contains: 1 b/w illus. 1 table
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction Mark L. McPherran
    1. Socrates in the Republic G. R. F. Ferrari
    2. Platonic ring-composition and Republic X Rachel Barney
    3. The Atlantis story: the Republic and the Timaeus Julia Annas
    4. Ethics and politics in Socrates' defense of justice Rachana Kamtekar
    5. Plato's divided soul Christopher Shields
    6. The meaning of 'saphêneia' in Plato's divided line J. H. Lesher
    7. Plato's philosophical method in the Republic: the divided line (510b–511d) Hugh H. Benson
    8. Blindness and reorientation: education and the acquisition of knowledge in the Republic C. D. C. Reeve
    9. Music all pow'rful Malcolm Schofield
    10. Return to the cave Nicholas D. Smith
    11. Degenerate regimes in Plato's Republic Zena Hitz
    12. Virtue, luck, and choice at the end of the Republic Mark L. McPherran
    Index of passages
    Index of names and subjects.

  • Editor

    Mark L. McPherran, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia
    Mark L. McPherran is Professor of Philosophy at Simon Fraser University. He is the author of The Religion of Socrates (1996) and of numerous articles on ancient philosophy.


    G. R. F. Ferrari, Rachel Barney, Julia Annas, Rachana Kamtekar, Christopher Shields, J. H. Lesher, Hugh H. Benson, C. D. C. Reeve, Malcolm Schofield, Nicholas D. Smith, Zena Hitz, Mark L. McPherran

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