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Book Review #16: The Republic

"The Republic" by Plato

One word review: Intellectual!

Did you know?

Socrates was the teacher of Plato and is present as an interlocutor in most of his works.

The Republic is a philosophical book with it's content in a dialectic form. Being a diligent protege of Socrates, Plato has centralized the argumentative dialectics around his mentor. This book is an exemplification of the well renowned Socratic Method.

"I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing." - Socrates

There is a brief introduction to Plato and the contents of the book in the beginning: the argument and characters. And then the book is categorized into ten segments, named respectively as Book 1, Book 2, etc. I found it difficult to comprehend the character names, for it was difficult to pronounce them, being in Ancient Greek. Also, the dialectic form was not fathomable to me at first but over time I became assimilated to it.

Coming to the Socratic Method, I didn't knew about this method until I had finished reading this book. The Socratic Method is a very popular method that is practiced in law schools world wide. And The Republic is instrumental in delineating the Socratic Method; the cardinal character Socrates is consistently presenting arguments and questions to fuel critical thinking conversations. And this form the basis for the mind blowing conversations about a wide variety of topics.

And democracy has her own good, of which the insatiable desire brings her to dissolution? What good? Freedom, I replied; which, as they tell you in a democracy, is the glory of the state - and that therefore in a democracy alone will the freeman of nature deign to dwell.

The Republic offers intellectual conversations conducted by Socrates on different topics; what is justice? how to create a society? timocracy, oligarchy, democracy, which form of government works? and many others that will surely leave you amused.

Verdict: A philosophical brain teaser!

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