Synopsis of Platos Republic – Book Report/Review Example

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The paper "Synopsis of Plato’ s Republic" is a good example of a philosophy book review. Plato in his Republic shares his ideas on an ideal and purports that philosopher-kings, who are both philosophers and warriors, are better entitled to govern his ideal state. Plato also expresses his views on concepts such as the form of good, truth, knowledge, the being, and the becoming. Plato offers utmost importance to the form of good and states that one has to pay special attention to grasp and learn the form of good.

In order to learn the form of good one needs to make a distinction between what is really good and what is merely thought to be good. In this respect, the opinions of the people who do not have knowledge of the good are blind, shameful and ugly (Plato 180, 506c). The pursuit of knowledge and truth are equally important for the philosopher; however, he holds that both knowledge and truth are caused by the form of good which is a superior entity. Later Plato tries to bring about the difference between being and becoming; he holds that the being is comprised of both intelligible and visible components and one should be able to separate the intelligible from the visible.

Plato then goes on to establish the connection between sight and light and goes on to explain how these concepts can be applied to the souls of the individuals. Just as one cannot see things clearly in darkness, the soul cannot grasp the truth in obscurity whereas it can see things vividly when they are illuminated by truth. For Plato, the process of perception involves four subsections: “ understanding for the highest, thought for the second, belief for the third, and imaging for the last” (Plato 185, 511d).

For him, belief and imaging contribute to opinion whereas knowledge and thought to contribute to the intellect. In Book VII the author continues to argue that it is the form of good that offers the visible and the knowable realm beauty, light, truth, and understanding. Plato, later on, entrusts the philosopher kings to govern the state as they have “ seen the truth about fine, just, and good things” and are able to “ know each image for what it is and also that of which it is the image” (Plato 192, 520c).

The author then goes on to describe the training of philosopher kings. The philosopher kings at first need to be educated in music, poetry and physical training. Besides, they should have sound knowledge in number and calculation, geometry, astronomy, and dialectic. Plato holds that calculation, geometry and other preliminary education to develop dialectic should be offered in the childhood itself. To conclude, Plato wants his rulers to undergo training in all the above-mentioned disciplines and having known the form of good, such leaders need to govern and guide others in his ideal republic.  

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