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“The Republic” by Plato

The Republic by Plato, is one of the most widely read and influential philosophical works of all time. It has historically been considered a founding document of Western philosophy and is perhaps the most important work of political philosophy of all time.

Historical Context

The Republic was written by Plato, a student of Socrates and founder of the Academy in Athens and is believed to have been written between 380 and 360 BCE.

It is a discourse on various aspects of justice and the ideal state, and was an early attempt to create a blueprint for an ideal society.

Ideas Presented

Plato argued for a form of limited government in which philosopher kings, who are equipped with expertise in governing and dedicated to justice, serve as the ruling class.

He argued for a society ruled by these philosopher kings where citizens are divided into different classes, with resources distributed according to need and importance to the state.

He also argued for the abolishment of private property, the banning of the family unit, and the idea of a shared military service.

Theory of Justice

In The Republic, Plato argues that justice requires a society where all, regardless of class, work towards the common good.

He defines justice as being “nothing else than the interest of the stronger”, and advises that leaders take a utilitarian approach to decision-making, based on “the greatest good for the greatest number”.

He emphasizes that the concept of justice is rooted in mutual understanding and cooperation of the citizens and should be fostered and encouraged.


In The Republic, Plato outlines his utopian ideal of an ideal state, where justice is upheld and each citizen contributes equally to a better society.

His theories on justice and government have had a lasting impact on Western philosophical thought and are still relevant today. The Republic is an essential read for any student of philosophy, political theory, and history.

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