An brief review of platos the republic

Although it contains its dramatic moments and it employs certain literary devices, it is not a play, a novel, a story; it is not, in a strict sense, an essay. It is a kind of extended conversation that embraces a central argument, an argument that is advanced by the proponent of the argument, Socrates. And we are to infer that any proposed changes in the policy of effecting justice in any state would have to meet the criteria of the ideal state:

An brief review of platos the republic

A Dialogue in 16 Chapters Published: March 16, Alain Badiou, Plato's Republic: A Dialogue in 16 Chapters, Susan Spitzer tr. Reviewed by Sol Goldberg, University of Toronto Plato's "cave allegory" is among the best-known passages in the entire history of philosophy, perhaps even in the entire history of literature.

This brief narrative not only remains a fixture in introductions to the discipline for its account of the philosophical enterprise and its challenges, but has also become part of the fabric of popular culture where it serves as a convenient and dramatic image of the pursuit of truth and freedom.

The Republic, Plato - Essay

Its current popularity and familiarity can make it quite difficult for us, however, even to consider, let alone to re-enact, how we, if among its first audience, might have received this early account of philosophy, which, bear in mind, was at that time itself hardly more than a An brief review of platos the republic venture with an uncertain future.

It is fortunate for us, then, that Plato provides a report. In short, an analogy now perfectly obvious to us originally was crafted to de-familiarize the most familiar reality of all. This thought occurred to me repeatedly as I read Alain Badiou's book.

The book is many things: But, more than anything else, it is strange. I don't just mean that I found the book strange, though that word captures as well as any my overall experience in reading it.


I mean primarily that its general intent seems to be estranging in the sense that Viktor Shklovsky uses this term to describe poetry in "Art as Technique. But, at the same time, hypertranslation remains a kind of translation, a procedure for conveying the sense of something from one context to another.

Hence, however peculiar or particular its method and practice might be, it nevertheless still reveals a certain judgment about that which is being hypertranslated and about how it is best hypertranslated into its new framework, a judgment, that is, about the source text in its native context and about the target context in which the new text hopes to find a home.

To answer these questions, I'll first review Badiou's account of his method and then examine some of the peculiar results of its application with the intent of highlighting what struck me as the pervasively strange feature of the book, namely, the rejection or abandonment of anything like Plato's hope for a world governed by an ideal of reason and his belief that rational dialogue provides the only chance for approximating that ideal.

Although mostly concerned here with how Badiou's hypertranslation is strange and estranging in its effort to undermine this classically Platonic project by means of Plato's classical text, I'll also add some final words about how one might nevertheless consider this strangeness productive.

Badiou describes his method of "treating the text" twice, once in greater depth in the "Preface" written for the original French volume and reproduced in the English edition, which is what I readand also briefly in the "Author's Preface to the English Edition. Badiou explains there that his method is "never a forgetting of the original text, not even of its details" even if it is also "almost never a 'translation' in the usual sense of the term"; that "Plato was ever-present, although perhaps not a single one of his sentences was restored exactly as he wrote it"; and that while each revision "would depart one step further from the letter of the original text.

The difference in the two statements is noteworthy, for it reveals not so much a tension in his method per se as a degree of ambivalence in Badiou's attitude towards Plato.

But Badiou has chosen not to do so. Instead, while wanting not to be shackled in any way by Plato's original, he nevertheless wants his version to be more than merely indirectly associated with it.

Plato, we are told, "is the one we need first and foremost today, for one reason in particular: This view about the necessity and availability of the absolute meets what we would expect of anyone drawn to Plato today to find appealing in his thought. Plato remains the classic source for every opposition to skepticism, naturalism, and relativism, various sorts of which are prevalent in contemporary philosophy.

Plato remains a vital source for regarding the arrangements that order our actual social and political lives against some atemporal ideal of justice, even as Badiou insists against Plato that the ideal of justice must be the property and responsibility of every worker-citizen, each of whom must therefore also be a philosopher-leader pp.

From the SparkNotes Blog

Moreover -- or, perhaps, more strangely -- Badiou at more than one point actually dissociates himself from Plato with the help of Socrates, whose thought, we are told, Plato has misunderstood and misrepresented.

The most explicit instance is in a discussion of whether the family would be dissolved in the communism that Badiou requires as the idea of a just state.

An brief review of platos the republic

Here Badiou enlists against Plato's Socrates his own Socrates, who exclaims: But the rhetoric here nonetheless makes plain that Badiou's revision of Plato involves to some degree a rejection of Plato.

So -- contrary to what might be suggested in the above quotes about the method of translation -- even if Badiou's modernization of Plato does not intend to bury him, neither does it come simply to praise him.

Badiou's most striking and strange transformation of the original is his general "novelization" of Plato's much sparser dialogue. Just as one who renders a screenplay into a novel fills in all sorts of background details, so Badiou frequently adds descriptions of the action and mood in the wider setting of the dialogue as well as indications of the feelings and motivations of the characters as they speak -- except, of course, the former has no choice but to add details in adapting a film into a book because of the difference in medium, whereas Badiou chose to add details that transform the literary genre of a Socratic dialogue into something else.

And the choice in favor of these additions was made presumably because he found the original wanting in these sorts of novelistic details. Badiou's narrative additions have, however, the odd effect of undermining the value of rational reflection and discourse championed by Plato and represented especially in the original dialogue by Socrates, who must subdue Thrasymachus and lead Glaucon and Adeimantus to a deeper understanding of the ideal nature of and typical obstacles to justice.Gerasimos Santas, Understanding Plato's Republic, Wiley-Blackwell, , pp., $ (pbk), ISBN Reviewed by Michelle Jenkins, Whitman College The Republic is undoubtedly one of Plato's masterworks and one of the most influential and widely read books in the history of philosophy.

The Republic, Plato This Essay The Republic, Plato and other 64,+ term papers, college essay examples and free essays are available now on Autor: review • February 3, • Essay • Words (3 Pages) • Views.

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About Plato's Republic Although it contains its dramatic moments and it employs certain literary devices, it is not a play, a novel, a story; it is not, in a strict sense, an essay.

The Republic study guide contains a biography of Plato, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. A summary of Book I in Plato's The Republic. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Republic and what it means.

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An brief review of platos the republic

Greece being at a crossroads, Plato's new "constitution" in the Republic was an attempt to preserve Greece: it was a reactionary reply to the new freedoms of private property etc., that were eventually given legal form through Rome. Accordingly, in ethical life, it was an attempt to introduce a religion that elevated each individual not as an owner of property, but as the possessor of an immortal soul.

Gerasimos Santas, Understanding Plato's Republic, Wiley-Blackwell, , pp., $ (pbk), ISBN Reviewed by Michelle Jenkins, Whitman College The Republic is undoubtedly one of Plato's masterworks and one of the most influential and widely read books in the history of philosophy.

Republic (Plato) - Wikipedia