Political Philosophy: Plato’s Republic

For social studies and history teachers but open to all Pre-K—12 educators

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Alfred North Whitehead once described the Western philosophical tradition as “a series of footnotes to Plato,” and the Republic is widely regarded as the most foundational and important of the Platonic dialogues. With his teacher Socrates acting as the primary character, Plato weaves his narrative around the key question raised by Socrates in Book I—“What is Justice?” Socrates and his interlocutors discourse on issues that have remained central to the Western political and philosophical traditions ever since: the nature of the political regimes; the education of those who would protect and lead the polis of the best regime; the virtues that characterize these guardians and ultimately the capacity for pursuing, and possibly comprehending, the Beautiful and the Good.

Audio for Plato’s Republic class

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