Book Review: The Republic by Plato

The book is a quest for justice, to understand what is it, and if it’s a virtue, we should pursue. The whole journey to understand justice and what it means is set as a dialogue between Socrates and his students, moving through definition to education to politics/state/idealistic city and characteristic of a great leader to truth and knowing the truth with cave allegory to the afterlife. Dialogues are logical arguments which are meant to win the listener over but also to make them think through their own thought process and the structure behind any idea, but while dialogues may seem logical at times, they make huge leaps and are strawmen at other times and ill-concluded to have the desired outcome. Yet, while The Republic is highly flawed not only with its argumentation and conclusions (in my opinion,) it is an excellent example of what philosophy should be about. That is to break concepts, ideas, statements, and anything and everything into pieces to question why, how, and what? But a genuine dialogue to advantage any idea should have equal philosophers to take part. When Socrates makes leaps and argues with the slide of hand that this looks like this because some other thing looks like this, then other than a student, someone with an equal standing and argumentation power could beg to differ and ask why. That is the problem with philosopher-kings as well, who can point their flaws when they are bound to have ones as they are humans.

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