Plato's Republic

and its context

Search for definitions (Socrates)

Book 1:
Definitions of justice

 
  Cephalus and Polemarchus Conventional/Homeric morality
Might is right (Sophists) Thrasymachus  
Right and Wrong are merely a matter of convention (Sophists) Book 2:
Glaucon and Adeimantus
  Soldiers initially identified with Guardians/Book 3 close relationship between Auxiliaries and Guardians. Both quite separate from producers.
SPARTA as an example to follow
"God" must be good. Justice of Zeus e.g. as issue in Aeschylus
Books 3-4;
Unity in state/no private property for rulers
Guardians' lifestyle
Issue of oikos v. polis - Homer, Aeschylus etc
SPARTA as an example to follow
Athenian class system (Knights etc) based on wealth
Civil strife normal in most city-states
Three lives - wisdom, courage and acquisitiveness Book 4:
Parts of soul and virtues
Impressive developments in medicine, so medical knowledge used as a model for knowledge of mind
Importance of caring for one's soul (Socrates) Justice - health analogy
  Book 5:
Women as rulers
Women's status is an issue in contemporary society. cf Euripides' Medea; Aristophanes' Assemblywomen, Lysistrata
Women have same education as men
Infanticide
SPARTA as an example to follow
Abolition of family Issue of oikos v. polis - Homer, Aeschylus etc

Truth is just what I believe (Sophists)

Books 5-7:
Knowledge and belief
ATHENIAN DEMOCRACY: criticised by Thucydides, Aristophanes etc for leaders manipulating beliefs of masses for their own power
Can teach students to persuade people to believe anything (Sophists)
Execution (Socrates)
Ship analogy ATHENIAN DEMOCRACY: criticised by Thucydides, Aristophanes etc for leaders manipulating beliefs of masses for their own power
Heracleitus: everything is in a state of flux
Parmenides: denies existence to things that change and decay
No knowledge of physical world
Forms as what really exists
 
Pythagoreans: say reality is number, which is behind the world and makes it intelligible Forms as abstract entities
Maths as ideal preparation for philosophy
Search for definitions (Socrates) Forms as universals
  Forms of Good and other virtues Justice of Zeus e.g. as issue in Aeschylus

To know the good is to do it (Socrates)
Execution (Socrates)

Cave analogy for Guardians' education  
  Book 8:
Timarchy
SPARTA as an example to follow
Oligarchy Civil strife normal in most city-states
Democracy and Tyranny Athenian class system (Knights etc) based on wealth
ATHENIAN DEMOCRACY: criticised by Thucydides, Aristophanes etc for leaders manipulating beliefs of masses for their own power
Importance of caring for one's soul (Socrates)
Pythagoreanism, Orphic religions and mysticism
Book 10:
Immortality and reincarnation of soul