The Republic of Plato: Second Edition Paperback – Oct 3 1991
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About the Author
Allan Bloom is professor of social thought at the University of Chicago. The author of many books, including The Closing of the American Mind, he is also the translator of Rousseau's Emile (Basic Books, 1979).
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Socrates: I went down to the Piraeus yesterday with Glaucon, son of Ariston, to pray to the goddess; and, at the same time, I wanted to observe how they would put on the festival, since they were now holding it for the first time. Read the first page
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Top Customer Reviews
Plato was not only a great philosopher, but also a great writer. While few master the classical Greek language sufficient to undertake its study in the original language, the text appears in countless translated forms of varying degrees of integrity. This translation by Bloom is one of the best literal translations - it stays very closely to the original, explaining things that do not translate easily, but avoiding many interpretation issues that often show more of the philosophy and/or politics of the translator than of Plato.
The text is traditionally divided into ten sections, although some scholars see this as being a function of the papyrus and scrolls of original composition more than being integral to the structure of the text itself. One of the interesting features of the Republic is that it was not originally intended for scholars and philosophers primarily, but for the common (albeit educated) reader, and remains one of the more accessible texts of ancient Greek philosophy.
In typical fashion, this is done in a dialogue fashion, with the lead character Socrates (fashioned after Plato's teacher, the great philosopher Socrates, although the words Socrates utters in this and many other Platonic dialogues are undoubtedly Plato's own).Read more ›
Allan Bloom has created a literal translation that is ideal for those who truly wish to engage with Plato. Most other translators have used non-literal methods that attempt to convey in a more contemporary form what Plato "meant" by his arguments. However, in this process the translator's own interpretation of Plato's argument inevitably influences the language in which he renders his translation. Bloom has attempted, with a great degree of success, to separate the processes of translation and interpretation. Rather than imposing his reading on the text itself, he express it in a thought-provoking interpretive essay that follows the text
This is probably not the easiest translation of Plato to read, because Bloom does not attempt to serve as a baby-sitter for his readers. However, the extra time spent in reading this version will be well rewarded by a deeper understanding of Plato's argument.
Allan Bloom's translation is a breath of much needed fresh air. We have here a very literal translation of The Republic. Bloom doesn't try to spoon feed Plato to us, and I for one am very glad about that. In the introduction Bloom makes, in my opinion, a very powerful case for the literal translation of The Republic. When I first picked this translation up I wasn't sure that a strictly literal translation was really need, so I'm greatful for this introduction. Bloom tells us precisely why he thinks that it is a good idea to have a literal translation and he's darn convincing, I say.
Give this a shot. Lord knows you'll get more out of it than that dreadful Penguin translation. :)
In the 'Republic', Socrates works with Glaucon and Adeimantus in order to define what the ideal city would be. The book begins with a discussion of what the "just" is, and then proceeds to construct an argument for this city as Socrates believes it should be. Issues of class, gender, morality, and the intellectual life are weaved into this dialogue as well. The figure central to the city is the "Philosopher-King", who Socrates believes should rule. Basically, the book thinks about what a city would be like if it were ruled by reason, and it does a good job of laying out different ways for it to be structured, though these plans amount to nothing concrete.
My problem with Plato is his treatment of poets. Socrates banishes them early on in the book because they aren't to be trusted. Aristotle would later say that poetry can be instructive, contrary to Plato's belief that they represent the indulgence of the passions. I believe that the passions, whether or not they are indulgent, are a key part of what it means to be human. Being in touch with them is what makes a human whole. Plato also offers an image of the soul: he believes that the part called reason should guide the passionate part, which is helped by the use of will. I love this image because it represents an ideal we all strive for in every aspect of life. That is, how to guide your passion for something into something productive. I think that being in touch with an emotion helps this even more.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This is different from some other versions of Republic, and somehow reads more easily. I prefer this to most others, except the Cambridge text, with which it is on a par. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Why get *this* Republic rather than some other translation? Because Allan Bloom is wonderfully attentive to the fact that the ancient greek civilization is a totally alien society... Read morePublished on Aug. 27 2006 by J. E. Mueller
So you've asked some of the tough questions. You've questioned your teachers, you've questioned your parents, you've questioned yourself (you never thought to ask your boss), but... Read morePublished on March 10 2003 by Sobeit
There probably isn't much I can add in a scholarly vein to what people have already said about Plato. Read morePublished on Aug. 25 2002 by magellan
Plato's purpose here is to find the definition and nature of justice such as whether the just man is happier than the unjust man. Read morePublished on June 5 2002
If you love philosphy, this is the best book. There are many different versions of this book but this is the best one.Published on Feb. 21 2002
Ah... those lectures were invaluable. Pick up a copy and do some thinking!!!Published on May 19 2001 by James May
With all due respect (and I really mean it -- Bloom's a treasure and I have a lot of respect for this translation), people with a modern right-wing ideological bent desperately... Read morePublished on March 30 2001 by Bill Krapek
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