Plato's 'The Republic' is widely acknowledged as the cornerstone of Western philosophy. Presented in the form of a dialogue between Socrates and three different interlocutors, it is an inquiry into the notion of a perfect community and the ideal individual within it.
During the conversation other questions are raised: what is goodness; what is reality; what is knowledge? the Republic also addresses the purpose of education and the roles of both women and men as "guardians" of the people. With remarkable lucidity and deft use of allegory, Plato arrives at a depiction of a state bound by harmony and ruled by "philosopher kings".
Desmond Lee's translation of 'The Republic' has come to be regarded as a classic in its own right. His introduction discusses contextual themes such as Plato's disillusionment with Athenian politics and the trail of Socrates. This new edition also features a revised bibliography.