Plato’s Republic, Book IX: The Soul of the Tyrant

In Book IX, Socrates continues the discussion from Book VIII by completing the analysis of the particular character of the Tyrant. Recall in Book VIII, that Socrates outlined the formation of each regime in descending order: Timocracy - Oligarchy - Democracy - Tyranny. Having identified the Tyrannic regime, his next job is to discuss the … Continue reading Plato’s Republic, Book IX: The Soul of the Tyrant

Plato’s Republic Book II (Part I): Glaucon and Adeimantus

Glaucon and Adeimantus, both brothers and Athenians (brothers of Plato), make up the bulk of the remainder of the Republic. Both brothers are praised by Socrates for their noble actions as soldiers at Megara and also for their aristocratic lineage, descending from Ariston (meaning "excellence"). The Battle of Megara was a crucial victory for the Athenians … Continue reading Plato’s Republic Book II (Part I): Glaucon and Adeimantus

Plato’s Republic, Book I (Part IV): Thrasymachus

Socrates’s infamous exchange with Thrasymachus occurs in two parts. In the first part, Thrasymachus lashes out at Socrates claiming that justice is the advantage of the stronger, and also that injustice is more profitable than justice. In the second part, after Socrates has successfully tamed the tyrant, Thrasymachus placates Socrates with a “banquet” of words … Continue reading Plato’s Republic, Book I (Part IV): Thrasymachus

Plato’s Republic, Book I (Part II): Cephalus

Adeimantus and Polemarchus persuade Glaucon, and also thereby Socrates, to remain in the Piraeus, at the house of Cephalus (father of Polemarchus). Cephalus is the wealthy, old metic from Syracuse. A "metic" was a stranger to Athens, not a citizen but one who pays taxes and is not granted civil rights. At any rate, upon … Continue reading Plato’s Republic, Book I (Part II): Cephalus

Plato’s Republic, Book I: Introduction (Part I)

Plato's Politeia, or "regime," later translated and romanized by Cicero and the Romans as "Res Publica" or The Republic, is a narrated dialogue. It is narrated by Socrates in the first-person as he speaks to an unnamed individual (or individuals). Socrates recalls the events the day after they occurred and shortly before the events of the … Continue reading Plato’s Republic, Book I: Introduction (Part I)

Thoughts on Plato’s Statesman

Plato's Statesman is a somewhat unremarkable dialogue. Unlike its parallel dialogues with the explicit subject matter of political philosophy, such as the Republic or the Laws, the Statesman fails to cover the ground necessary to fully examine the topic, and its main subject matter may more appropriately be called political science. The dialogue picks up from where the Sophist leaves off. Socrates and the … Continue reading Thoughts on Plato’s Statesman