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Publisher's Summary

More than 2,000 years later, Plato's Republic remains astonishingly relevant to our everyday lives. It poses one question after another that might well have been drawn from the headlines and debates of our nation's recent history: What sort of person should rule the state? Are all citizens equal before the law? Should everyone have equal access to health care? Plato's greater inquiry, however, was into the question of defining justice itself and the reasons why a person would choose a life aligned with that virtue.

These 24 remarkable lectures lead you through the brilliant dialogue Plato crafted both to define and examine the issues with which political philosophy still grapples.

Chapter by chapter, Professor Roochnik introduces you to Plato's literary recasting of his own great teacher, Socrates, and the dialogue through which Socrates and the Republic's other characters create the hypothetical ideal city. It is by dissecting life in this presumably just city - the "Republic" of Plato's title - that the nature of justice itself can be examined.

Many of Plato's ideas will startle contemporary readers, who may recognize in them the foreshadowing of some of humankind's darkest moments. Indeed, some have called the Republic the "great-great-grandfather of all totalitarian experiments." You'll wrestle with Plato's controversial vision, and you'll be surprised just how contemporary these arguments sound.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2005 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2005 The Great Courses

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Outstanding!

It shoes how Plato’s Republic remains a foundational work throughout western philosophy to this date.

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  • Ronald
  • 14-03-2014

Simply Excellent

The discussion of Plato's Republic reminds us all of what great a great didactic presentation sounds like. For those of us long-since removed from academia, it makes us long for the type of interchanges we had with a golden few professors who "reached" us and made us want more. Though Professor Roochnik is not Lord Richard Attenborough, he is clearly an expert of the subject matter and is a superb teacher. The mysteries of The Republic (the definition of justice, the analogy of the cave, the divided line and the Myth of Er) are clearly elucidated. Enjoyable, informative and reflective.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • A. M.
  • 15-07-2014

Professor David Roochnik is Superb!

Any additional comments?

A great lecture about a difficult subject told by a superb teacher. I was able to assimilate far more from this lecture than I could ever hope to obtain on my own by reading Plato's Republic.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Dude
  • 28-02-2017

Excellent - Enjoyed the nararator

Where does Plato's Republic rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The best of the 5 that I listened to so far

What other book might you compare Plato's Republic to and why?

I am a novice, can't help you much

What about Professor David Roochnik’s performance did you like?

He was knowlegable yet modest and to the point, objective, not darmatic

Any additional comments?

I have always heard references to The Republic. The actual text is much different than what I expected. I tried reading old texts in the past. It does not work for me. I need the lecture to put it in context, to have the words defined as to what they meant at the time of the writing. This was well done.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Bruno
  • 07-11-2013

One of the best courses I have ever heard!

If you could sum up Plato's Republic in three words, what would they be?

The BEST course

What other book might you compare Plato's Republic to and why?

It's incomparable. It's the basis of political filosophy and one of the BEST books known to men. This course the dr. professor explains in great detail every complex passage in the book, giving light to such difficult subject.

Any additional comments?

I will definitely buy other Great Courses just because of this one. It's one of the best audiobooks I have ever heard, and the professor is so knowledgeable that it's quite impressive how you can understand Plato's Republic so easily. He makes it easy!

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Carol S.
  • 24-04-2014

Loved it!!!

Where does Plato's Republic rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is one of my favorite of the " Great Courses " . Dr. Roochnik was a pleasure to listen and made Plato current for the listener! I hated to have the course end. Please, more by this most talented professor!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Loved it, beginning to end!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • John Bergandino
  • 05-09-2017

Great Overview of Plato's Republic

Easy to follow synopsis (broad synopsis) of Plato's Republic. I enjoyed how David challenged listeners to think for themselves in regards to the meaning of certain key aspects. Very well elaborated how certain parts of the dialogue tie into post-Republic era mindsets.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • John
  • 05-02-2016

Very good and comprehensive

This is an excellent 24 part lecture on the Republic and in 2016 the Republic still resonates as strongly as it did 2500 years ago.
Socrates and his questions still remain unanswered.
Certain "assumptions” made by Prof Roochnik are questionable but nevertheless it doesn’t impede the mood of inquiry he presents.
The lecture leaves you with a sense of the profound spiritual insight of Plato that resonates with all peoples of all faiths who have brought their spiritual understanding to a deeper universal perspective.
This is both a lecture and subject that needs to not only contemplated or meditated on for a long time but like anything worthwhile to be revisited over and over again.
Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose..not much has changed with the human psyche in 2500 years

Well done

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jv Otieno
  • 08-05-2018

Very engaging Summary

I will listen to this several times as the key concepts of Plato’s book are articulated very well.

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  • Andy
  • 03-05-2018

Poor audio quality

I don't have a problem with the substance, but there was a crackling sound throughout the recording that made it really tough to listen to.

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  • john
  • 31-01-2018

Don't Buy this audio

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Read by anybody but David Roochnik. Sounds like he is reading someone else material for the first time.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Horrible. Should be fired.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The material is brilliant. Speaker discredits it.

Any additional comments?

Want my money back.

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  • J A Bennett
  • 21-07-2015

A must for philosophers of any level

What did you like most about Plato's Republic?

A must read for any lover of philosophy, it may not come up with many answers but the questions it poses are timeless. It is presented in a way that brings up all the main themes and guides the listener through parts that may be more difficult to understand. This series of lectures is fantastic value (especially when you get it with your free credits!!!!)

Who was your favorite character and why?

Socrates... obviously

What does Professor David Roochnik bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

The narrator is as you would expect of a philosophy tutor, very reserved in what he actually says, being careful to say exactly what he means so as not to throw the listener off and I think his insights into what plato actually meant in parts were very insightful.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It has opened my mind up to ways of thinking that I would have dismissed if I had not known the logical thought path that the ancients went through to come to those conclusions.

Any additional comments?

Think that sums it up.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. P. A. Gower
  • 02-01-2014

Heartily recommended if you are new to Plato

I had gone through Plato's Republic on audible twice and although I had the gist of the main points I felt I hadn't quite understood it. Listening to Roochnik's lectures clarified a lot and then I listened to his lectures and then relevant chapters from The Republic back-to-back which I would recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-03-2018

this is not Plato's republic

If you realise that this is the lecture series, not the book, this may well be for you

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  • Greg Gauthier
  • 16-08-2017

Thorough, competent, somewhat insightful

The lecturer is difficult to listen to, at times. Occasionally, his analysis is shallow and perhaps a little off the mark, but there were a few really important insights that made listening well worth the effort. For example, looking at the republic not as a model city, but as a model soul.

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  • AHW
  • 31-05-2016

Excellent analysis & skilled lecturer

Really well structured and excellent lecture series going through the republic. Prof. David Roochnik is gives a clear and constantly engaging analysis, thoroughly exploring the text, and also setting context and referencing more contemporary ideas in their relation to the republic.

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  • Connor
  • 24-02-2016

The Republic - The Best Book Ever Written

Professor Roochnik's ability to cover so much of a monumental book is a testimony to his own teaching and ability. His deliberate attempt to not place his own opinion ahead of others is honourable and I feel this course really opens up the Republic and all of Plato's work to those non-philosophically minded people. Simply fantastic

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  • Ricky
  • 27-02-2017

It's not the book

I thought I was buying someone reading the book but it's someone talking about the book and their own interpretation of it.

3 of 8 people found this review helpful