The Republic

Xist Publishing
Free sample

Justice, Order and the Nature of Man

“I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.” ― Plato, The Republic

The Republic is Plato's best-known work. Composed as a Socratic dialogue, The Republic is one of the world's most influential works of philosophy and history.
This Xist Classics edition has been professionally formatted for e-readers with a linked table of contents. This eBook also contains a bonus book club leadership guide and discussion questions. We hope you’ll share this book with your friends, neighbors and colleagues and can’t wait to hear what you have to say about it.

Xist Publishing is a digital-first publisher. Xist Publishing creates books for the touchscreen generation and is dedicated to helping everyone develop a lifetime love of reading, no matter what form it takes



Read more

About the author

n/a

Read more
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
Xist Publishing
Read more
Published on
May 8, 2015
Read more
Pages
443
Read more
ISBN
9781623958473
Read more
Language
English
Read more
Genres
Juvenile Nonfiction / Readers / Intermediate
Philosophy / History & Surveys / Ancient & Classical
Read more
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
Read more
Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
"When all the gods had assembled in conference, Zeus arose among them and addressed them thus" . . .

"it is with this line that Plato's story of Atlantis ends; and the words of Zeus remain unknown."
-- Francis Bacon, New Atlantis


Of all the writings of Plato the Timaeus is the most obscure and repulsive to the modern reader, and has nevertheless had the greatest influence over the ancient and mediaeval world. The obscurity arises in the infancy of physical science, out of the confusion of theological, mathematical, and physiological notions, out of the desire to conceive the whole of nature without any adequate knowledge of the parts, and from a greater perception of similarities which lie on the surface than of differences which are hidden from view. To bring sense under the control of reason; to find some way through the mist or labyrinth of appearances, either the highway of mathematics, or more devious paths suggested by the analogy of man with the world, and of the world with man; to see that all things have a cause and are tending towards an end—this is the spirit of the ancient physical philosopher.


He has no notion of trying an experiment and is hardly capable of observing the curiosities of nature which are 'tumbling out at his feet,' or of interpreting even the most obvious of them. He is driven back from the nearer to the more distant, from particulars to generalities, from the earth to the stars. He lifts up his eyes to the heavens and seeks to guide by their motions his erring footsteps. But we neither appreciate the conditions of knowledge to which he was subjected, nor have the ideas which fastened upon his imagination the same hold upon us.


For he is hanging between matter and mind; he is under the dominion at the same time both of sense and of abstractions; his impressions are taken almost at random from the outside of nature; he sees the light, but not the objects which are revealed by the light; and he brings into juxtaposition things which to us appear wide as the poles asunder, because he finds nothing between them. He passes abruptly from persons to ideas and numbers, and from ideas and numbers to persons,—from the heavens to man, from astronomy to physiology; he confuses, or rather does not distinguish, subject and object, first and final causes, and is dreaming of geometrical figures lost in a flux of sense.


He contrasts the perfect movements of the heavenly bodies with the imperfect representation of them (Rep.), and he does not always require strict accuracy even in applications of number and figure (Rep.). His mind lingers around the forms of mythology, which he uses as symbols or translates into figures of speech. He has no implements of observation, such as the telescope or microscope; the great science of chemistry is a blank to him. It is only by an effort that the modern thinker can breathe the atmosphere of the ancient philosopher, or understand how, under such unequal conditions, he seems in many instances, by a sort of inspiration, to have anticipated the truth.


The influence with the Timaeus has exercised upon posterity is due partly to a misunderstanding. In the supposed depths of this dialogue the Neo-Platonists found hidden meanings and connections with the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, and out of them they elicited doctrines quite at variance with the spirit of Plato. Believing that he was inspired by the Holy Ghost, or had received his wisdom from Moses, they seemed to find in his writings the Christian Trinity, the Word, the Church, the creation of the world in a Jewish sense, as they really found the personality of God or of mind..

Euthyphro (Ancient Greek: Euthuphron) is one of Plato's early dialogues, dated to after 399 BC.

Taking place during the weeks leading up to Socrates' trial, the dialogue features Socrates and Euthyphro, a religious expert also mentioned at Cratylus 396a and 396d, attempting to define piety or holiness.


Background


The dialogue is set near the king-archon's court, where the two men encounter each other. They are both there for preliminary hearings before possible trials (2a).
Euthyphro has come to lay manslaughter charges against his father, as his father had allowed one of his workers to die exposed to the elements without proper care and attention (3e–4d). This worker had killed a slave belonging to the family estate on the island of Naxos; while Euthyphro's father waited to hear from the expounders of religious law (exegetes cf. Laws 759d) about how to proceed, the worker died bound and gagged in a ditch. Socrates expresses his astonishment at the confidence of a man able to take his own father to court on such a serious charge, even when Athenian Law allows only relatives of the deceased to sue for murder.


Euthyphro misses the astonishment, and merely confirms his overconfidence in his own judgment of religious/ethical matters. In an example of "Socratic irony," Socrates states that Euthyphro obviously has a clear understanding of what is pious and impious. Since Socrates himself is facing a charge of impiety, he expresses the hope to learn from Euthyphro, all the better to defend himself in his own trial.


Euthyphro claims that what lies behind the charge brought against Socrates by Meletus and the other accusers is Socrates' claim that he is subjected to a daimon or divine sign which warns him of various courses of action (3b). Even more suspicious from the viewpoint of many Athenians, Socrates expresses skeptical views on the main stories about the Greek gods, which the two men briefly discuss before plunging into the main argument. Socrates expresses reservations about such accounts which show up the gods' cruelty and inconsistency. He mentions the castration of the early sky god, Uranus, by his son Cronus, saying he finds such stories very difficult to accept (6a–6c).


Euthyphro, after claiming to be able to tell even more amazing such stories, spends little time or effort defending the conventional view of the gods. Instead, he is led straight to the real task at hand, as Socrates forces him to confront his ignorance, ever pressing him for a definition of 'piety'. Yet, with every definition Euthyphro proposes, Socrates very quickly finds a fatal flaw (6d ff.).


At the end of the dialogue, Euthyphro is forced to admit that each definition has been a failure, but rather than correct it, he makes the excuse that it is time for him to go, and Socrates ends the dialogue with a classic example of Socratic irony: since Euthyphro has been unable to come up with a definition that will stand on its own two feet, Euthyphro has failed to teach Socrates anything at all about piety, and so he has received no aid for his own defense at his own trial (15c ff.).

©2018 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google|Location: United StatesLanguage: English (United States)
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.