The Philosophy of Plato: A Collection of Online Resources and Key Quotes

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This page aims to make learning about Plato as easy as possible by bringing together the best articles, podcasts, and videos from across the internet onto one page. To get started, simply choose one of the resources listed below, or browse a selection of key quotes by Plato at the bottom of the page. Encyclopedia Articles This section features articles from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. The SEP is probably the most comprehensive online philosophy resource. It features in-depth articles on a huge number …

The Six Best Books on or by Plato

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This page contains a list of the best books on or by Plato. Just to be clear, there is no single best book on Plato. The best book for you will depend on your preferred learning style and the amount of time that you want to spend reading about Plato. An 800-page scholarly overview is unlikely to be best for someone looking for a short beginner-friendly introduction, for example. This list aims to take this ambiguity into account by featuring books that will appeal to a variety of learning styles. …

The Misery of Tyrants – a short reading from Plato’s Republic

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“He who is the real tyrant, whatever men may think, is the real slave, and is obliged to practise the greatest adulation and servility, and to be the flatterer of the vilest of mankind.” In this passage from book nine of Plato’s Republic, Socrates finally responds to the challenge set by Glaucon in book two; speaking as devil’s advocate, Glaucon claimed that people want nothing to restrict their desire for more and more of everything. If anyone could profit from acting unjustly and guarantee that they could get away with …

The Nature and Defects of Oligarchy – a short reading from Plato’s Republic

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“And so they grow richer and richer, and the more they think of making a fortune the less they think of virtue; for when riches and virtue are placed together in the scales of the balance, the one always rises as the other falls.” In this passage from book eight of Plato’s Republic, Socrates outlines the defects and eventual breakdown of oligarchy. Socrates describes oligarchy as “a government resting on a valuation of property, in which the rich have power and the poor man is deprived of it.” He claims …

The Allegory of the Cave – a short reading from Plato’s Republic

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“Will he not fancy that the shadows which he formerly saw are truer than the objects which are now shown to him?” In this passage, from book seven of Plato’s Republic, Socrates describes an unusual cave in which prisoners have been chained since childhood. The prisoners in this allegory represent the majority of mankind who perceive only the shadows of reality and hear only the echoes of truth. They cling to their mistaken view of reality and have no desire to escape their prison. Only philosophers make the journey out …