Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 23 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter presents a reading of Plato’s Republic. The Republic is among Plato’s most complex works. From its title, the first-time reader will expect a dialogue about political theory, yet the work starts from the perspective of the individual, coming to focus on the question of how, if at all, justice contributes to an agent’s happiness. Only after this question has been fully set out does the work evolve into an investigation of politics—of the ideal state and of the institutions that sustain it, especially those having to do with education. But the interest in individual justice and happiness is never left behind. Rather, the work weaves in and out of the two perspectives, individual and political, right through to its conclusion. All this may leave one wondering about the unity of the work. The chapter shows that, despite the enormous range of topics discussed, the Republic fits together as a coherent whole.

Keywords: Plato, Republic dialogues, political theory, politics, ideal state, education

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.