Read more about The Intelligent Troglodyte’s Guide to Plato’s Republic

The Intelligent Troglodyte’s Guide to Plato’s Republic

(6 reviews)

Douglas Drabkin, Fort Hays State University

Copyright Year: 2016

Publisher: A.T. Still University

Language: English

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Reviewed by Dana Rognlie, Visiting Assistant Professor, Worcester State University on 6/30/20

The book provides accessible yet comprehensive overviews and discussion questions of Republic as organized by book and thematic sub-sections. The table of contents and the index is very navigable. The text provides relevant introduction to... read more

Reviewed by Matthew Maher, Senior Lecturer, Metropolitan State University of Denver on 3/4/20

The Intelligent Troglodyte’s Guide to Plato’s Republic is designed as a supplementary reader’s guide to understanding and interpreting Plato’s Republic. It accomplishes this goal quite admirably. For every section of the Republic (96 in all),... read more

Reviewed by Rose Cherubin, Associate Professor, George Mason University on 6/20/17

The book is intended as a reading guide to Plato's Republic, and it covers the whole text in sections of a few Stephanus numbers at a time. It also provides some historical background, as well as links to the online English and Greek versions of... read more

Reviewed by Marta Kunecka, Adjunct Professor, Linn-Benton Community College on 6/20/17

The book thoroughly and comprehensively presents the ideas of Plato’s "Republic". The text is easily approachable and understandable as the introduction / summary of the source chapters. The author provides references throughout the text as well... read more

Reviewed by Laurie Cosgriff, Assistant Professor, Portland State University on 2/8/17

The text provides a book-by-book commentary on the Republic, and is organized by topic in a manner that makes it easy to look up any subject within the text. read more

Reviewed by Andrew Alwood, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Virginia Commonwealth University on 2/8/17

This text covers all of Plato's Republic, breaking its ten books down into 96 sections (so, about ten sections per book). In each section, the author distills points of interest from Plato’s text and offers historical context while articulating... read more

Table of Contents

Book I

  • 1 A Religious Festival in the Piraeus
  • 2 Being Old
  • 3 Treasure for Heaven
  • 4 Giving What is Owed
  • 5 The Craft of Justice
  • 6 Benefiting Friends and Harming Enemies
  • 7 The Advantage of the Stronger
  • 8 The Good Shepherd
  • 9 The Blushing Argument
  • 10 Function, Virtue, and the Soul

Book II

  • 11 The Division of Goods
  • 12 The Social Contract Theory of Justice
  • 13 The Magic Ring
  • 14 The Challenge
  • 15 The Teaching of Justice
  • 16 Glaucon's Lover
  • 17 From Souls to Cities
  • 18 Making the Most of Differences
  • 19 Luxuries in the Just City
  • 20 The Good Soldier
  • 21 Censoring Homer
  • 22 Gods Causing Bad Things
  • 23 Gods in Disguise or Speaking Falsely

Book III

  • 24 Fear and Grief
  • 25 Laughter and Lying
  • 26 Lust, Wrath, and Greed
  • 27 Narrative Style and Personal Integrity
  • 28 The Emotional Power of Tune and Rhythm
  • 29 Love of the Fine and Beautiful
  • 30 Physical Training
  • 31 Doctors and Judges
  • 32 Harmony in the Soul
  • 33 Rulers
  • 34 The Myth of the Metals
  • 35 Private Property and Private Interests

Book IV

  • 36 The City as a Whole
  • 37 Lawfulness Internalized, Legislation Minimized
  • 38 Wisdom in the City
  • 39 Courage in the City
  • 40 Temperance in the City
  • 41 Justice in the City
  • 42 Parts of the Soul ¬¬ Appetitive and Rational
  • 43 The Spirited Part of the Soul
  • 44 The Virtues of the Soul
  • 45 Injustice is Sick

Book V

  • 46 A Desire to Listen
  • 47 The Natures of Men and Women
  • 48 Good Breeding
  • 49 Families and the Saying of “Mine” and “Not Mine”
  • 50 The Waging of War
  • 51 Philosophers and Knowledge of the Forms

Book VI

  • 52 The Virtues of the Philosopher
  • 53 Philosophical Perspective and the Fear of Death
  • 54 The Uselessness of Philosophers
  • 55 Gifted Students and the Sophists
  • 56 Putting Knowledge of the Forms to Use
  • 57 The Form of the Good
  • 58 Every Soul Pursues the Good
  • 59 The Sun
  • 60 Degrees of Clarity (The Line)

Book VII

  • 61 The Cave
  • 62 Two Kinds of Confusion
  • 63 The Craft of Education
  • 64 Compulsory Service for Philosophers
  • 65 Numbers as Summoners
  • 66 Further Mathematical Studies
  • 67 Dialectic
  • 68 Selecting Students for Philosophy
  • 69 Abuses of Refutation
  • 70 Completing the Education of the Rulers
  • 71 Establishing Justice


  • 72 The Fall of the Aristocratic City
  • 73 The Timocratic City
  • 74 The Timocratic Soul
  • 75 The Oligarchic City
  • 76 The Oligarchic Soul
  • 77 The Democratic City
  • 78 The Democratic Soul
  • 79 The Tyrannical City

Book IX

  • 80 Lawless Desires
  • 81 The Right Way to Fall Asleep
  • 82 The Tyrannical Soul
  • 83 The First Proof: Analogy of City and Soul
  • 84 The Second Proof: Who's to Say?
  • 85 The Third Proof: True Pleasures
  • 86 How Much More Unpleasant is the Tyrannical Life?
  • 87 An Emblem of the Soul
  • 88 Will the Just Person Take Part in Politics?

Book X

  • 89 Return to Poetry
  • 90 First Accusation: Imitation in Ignorance
  • 91 Second Accusation: Injustice Promoted in the Soul
  • 92 A Call to Poetry's Defenders
  • 93 An Argument for the Soul's Immortality
  • 94 The Soul Without Barnacles
  • 95 Rewards from Gods and Human Beings
  • 96 Suffering, Philosophy, and the Choice of a Lifetime

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  • About the Book

    The Republic of Plato is one of the classic gateway texts into the study and practice of philosophy, and it is just the sort of book that has been able to arrest and redirect lives. How it has been able to do this, and whether or not it will be able to do this in your own case, is something you can only discover for yourself. The present guidebook aims to help a person get fairly deep, fairly quickly, into the project. It divides the dialogue into 96 sections and provides commentary on each section as well as questions for reflection and exploration. It is organized with a table of contents and is stitched together with a system of navigating bookmarks. Links to external sites such as the Perseus Classical Library are used throughout. This book is suitable for college courses or independent study.

    About the Contributors


    Douglas Drabkin graduated from the University of Virginia in 1993 with degrees in literature, education, and philosophy, and has been a member of the department since 1994. He teaches a wide range of courses including Introduction to Philosophy, Bioethics, Aims of Education, Classical Greek Philosophy, Foundations of Modern Philosophy, and Aesthetics, and is currently involved in the Living and Learning Community Heart and Mind: Philosophizing About the Arts. He has published articles in the philosophy of religion, and has recently written an unusually good little book on Plato’s Republic. A fairly accomplished amateur violinist, he shamelessly scrapes away.

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