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  • Date Submitted: 01/07/2011 05:22 AM
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[08读后感大赛大学组一等奖作品选登]The Republic |
  Written by Plato, The Republic is a Socratic dialogue. It was written in approximately 360 BC, and is one of the most influential works of philosophy and political theory. It is also the longest of his works with the exception of The Laws, and is no doubt the greatest of them. In this book, Socrates and many other people discuss the nature of philosophy, the justice of states, Plato’s Theory of Forms and the conflict between philosophy and poetry.

Plato among the Greeks, like Bacon among the moderns, and like Confucius among the Chinese, was the first who conceived of a method of knowledge. He was the greatest metaphysical genius the world has seen. The sciences of logic and psychology, which have supplied so many instruments of thought to later ages, are based upon the analyses of Socrates and Plato. Nowhere in Plato is there a deeper irony or more dramatic power of humor or imagery. He is the father of idealism in philosophy, in politics and in literature. Just as a philosopher said, “All the western philosophical traditions are just footnotes to Plato’s philosophy theories.” It is no exaggeration at all, and there is no doubt that Plato’s thought has infiltrated the blood vessels of the western thought system. Many of the latest conceptions of modern thinkers and statesmen, such as the unity of knowledge, the reign of law, and the equality of the sexes, have been anticipated in a dream by him.

The title of The Republic in Greek, “Politeia”, literally means the constitution or regime type of a political community. For various reasons, this was rendered in Latin as republica, the ‘republic business’ or the ‘Commonwealth’. Greek works used to be referred to by their Latin titles, and so Plato’s dialogue came to be known in English as The Republic. It is not, however, primarily a work on republicanism in the modern sense of the term. The dialogue is set in the house of Polemarohus at Piraeus, a city-port connected to...

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