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Plato's Republic by David Roochnick

Plato's Republic

by David Roochnick

Title Details

Audio Original
Running Time
12 Hrs.


It is the first work in the history of Western political philosophy and, arguably, the most influential—so much so that the entire European philosophical tradition has been described as being nothing more than a “series of footnotes” to its author.

Yet Plato's Republic, more than 2,000 years after its appearance, and in spite of the many provocative directions those “footnotes” have taken, still remains astonishingly relevant in its own right. It poses one question after another that might well have been drawn from the headlines and debates of our own nation's recent history:

What sort of person should rule the state? Is it ever permissible for a ruler to lie to the citizens? Should women be given the same political opportunities as men? What is the role of education in politics? Should citizens be allowed full freedom when it comes to sexual relationships and private property? Are all citizens equal before the law? Is censorship of music and literature ever justifiable? Should everyone have equal access to health care?

And these questions, no matter how vital they may be on their own, are themselves only intellectual stepping stones along the pathway of Plato's greater inquiry—the question of defining justice itself, and the reasons why a man or woman would choose a life aligned with that virtue.

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