In this book a distinguished philosopher offers a comprehensive interpretation of Plato's most controversial dialogue. Treating theRepublicas a unity and focusing on the dramatic form as the presentation of the argument, Stanley Rosen challenges earlier analyses of theRepublic(including the ironic reading of Leo Strauss and his disciples) and argues that the key to understanding the dialogue is to grasp the author's intention in composing it, in particular whether Plato believed that the city constructed in theRepublicis possible and desirable.
Rosen demonstrates that the fundamental principles underlying the just city are theoretically attractive but that the attempt to enact them in practice leads to conceptual incoherence and political disaster. TheRepublic,says Rosen, is a vivid illustration of the irreconcilability of philosophy and political practice.
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