The Republic of Plato

The Republic of Plato

Read Spring 2010

Finished April 20, 2010

Tom Burnett

This is the second or third try I have made at The Republic. One of the kids gave it to me for Christmas. This time, I was transfixed. I understood fully.

I noticed the difference in writing style between this and Thoreau. Thoreau relies on bombast. This is steady, never overstated. It proceeds line upon line. It unfolds. I noted a few pieces of humor.

I noticed many parallels with the plan of salvation. As one small example, at the conclusion, he mentions the River of Unmindfulness, from which souls drink before coming to earth.

I’m fully persuaded that seeking justice and wisdom is the highest pursuit. I find the Form to be that of Christ, the ideal man.

I love the notion of forms, first introduced to me by Mortimer Adler’s Aristotle For Everbody, which I read 30 years ago and I began again today.

I understood the allegory of the cave and the myth of Er.

I find much keen observation about human tendencies in business and politics. I am lured by his idea of seeking Beauty for itself, in the most abstract way. His notion of training the young has practical, policy aspects. His notion of procreation among the Guardians, ardor of men for boys, and of naked athletics I find ridiculous.

Those are just a few of the things I remember from my 2 month project of reading the book, hardly a full report. I’m exceedingly glad I took the opportunity. I will be thinking about these things for the rest of my life.

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