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The Republic

Plato

Suggestions for Further Reading

Quiz

How to Cite This SparkNote

Blackburn, Simon. Plato’s Republic (Books That Changed the World). New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2007.

Bloom, Allan. “Interpretive Essay.” The Republic of Plato: Second Edition. New York: Basic Books, 1991.

Ferrari, G. R. F. The Cambridge Companion to Plato. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Grube, G. M. A. Plato’s Thought. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1980.

Pappas, Nickolas. Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Plato and The Republic. New York and London: Routledge, 2003.

Reeve, C. D. C. “Introduction.” Plato’s Republic: Third Edition. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 2004.

Santas, Gerasimos Xenophon, ed. Plato’s Republic. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2006.

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"Understanding" is Wrong Term

by JohnUebersax, August 28, 2014

The definitions on this list are mostly helpful, but the term "Understanding" is incorrect and misleading. The highest grade of cognitive activity in Plato's fourfold epistemological scheme is, in Greek, "noesis." In English this should be called Intellection, Higher Reason, or simply Noesis. To call it Understanding badly confuses things because of the myriad unrelated meanings and senses of "understanding" in English.

Reason

by JohnUebersax, August 29, 2014

Similarly, what the list above calls "Reason" would be better termed ratiocination, calculation, reasoning, or lower reason. To simply call this faculty Reason confounds two distinct faculties: ratiocination (dianoia) and Higher Reason (nous or Nous). Ratiocination is somewhat like the ability that animals have to think and plan. It is the Higher Reason that is associated with mans immortal soul, and on which basis, according to Plato, man may attain "likeness to God insofar as possible."

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