“A clear and accessible introduction to philosophy’s first superstar” by the author of On Truth and Think, one of our great contemporary philosophers (Kirkus Reviews).
Plato is perhaps the most significant philosopher who ever lived and The Republic, composed in Athens in about 375 BC, is widely regarded as his most famous dialogue. Its discussion of the perfect city—and the perfect mind—laid the foundations for Western culture and has been the cornerstone of Western philosophy. As the distinguished Cambridge professor Simon Blackburn points out, it has probably sustained more commentary, and been subject to more radical and impassioned disagreement, than almost any other text in the modern world.
“A provocative companion to an essential text” (Publishers Weekly), Plato’s Republic explores the judicial, moral, and political ideas in The Republic with dazzling insight. Blackburn also examines The Republic’s influence and staying power, and shows why, from St. Augustine to twentieth-century philosophers such as Ludwig Wittgenstein, Western thought is still conditioned by this most important, and contemporary, of books.
“Plato’s Republic . . . which Blackburn rightly suggests is the first book to shake the world, is loaded with perennial questions that every generation must struggle with. How are we to live our lives? What is virtue and can it be taught? Are pleasure and good the same?”—The Independent
“Philosopher Simon Blackburn has written a new book about The Republic, gently reminding those of us who have forgotten it why it remains so important. The book unquestionably belongs on anybody’s list of Books That Changed the World.”—NPR