What are your thoughts on Plato's Republic?What are your thoughts on Plato's Republic?
I think that the vision Plato gives the reader is one that is predicated upon the idea that there is a singular and true essence that is to be pursued in order to establish a meaningful life. It is in this light that one ends up reflecting the work upon themselves. If one accepts this premise, I think that the work becomes profound because it highlights what this essence is and the need to pursue it as becoming essential to consciousness. Yet, I think that if one accepts that there are more than one forms of the essence, or that one has individual choice or freedom in this configuration, then Plato's ideas are probably going to radiate as limiting such realities. Plato's strict social hierarchy probably appeals to those who believed that the Greeks "got it right." For those who accept this vision, then certainly, Platonic visions of the ideal and of the good are powerful and liberating. For those who find this vision to be harsh to many, such as the presence of slaves and the condition of women, Plato and the Greeks "got it wrong," and a new vision of reality, probably a more modernist one, will be advocated. The beauty of Plato is that one's thoughts about it are more of a reflection of the individual self than of the work, in general.
I think it is remarkable for Plato to sit down and think of what the perfect world should be. Most people identify the problems in the world, but don't try to think of ways to solve them.