Plato's Republic: A Dialogue in Sixteen Chapters

Paperback | May 19, 2015

byAlain BadiouTranslated bySusan SpitzerIntroduction byKenneth Reinhard

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Plato's Republic is one of the best-known and most widely-discussed texts in the history of philosophy. But how might we get to the heart of this work today, 2,500 years after its original composition? Alain Badiou breathes life into Plato's landmark text and revives its universality. Rather than producing yet another critical commentary, he has instead worked closely on the original Greek and, through spectacular changes, adapted it to our times. In this innovative reimagining of Plato's work, Badiou has removed all references specific to ancient Greek society-from lengthy exchanges about moral courage in archaic poetry to political considerations mainly of interest to the aristocratic elite-and has expanded the range of cultural references. Here, philosophy is firing on all cylinders: Socrates and his companions are joined by Beckett, Pessoa, Freud, and Hegel, among others. Together these thinkers demonstrate that true philosophy endures, ready to absorb new horizons without changing its essence.

Moreover, Badiou-who is also a dramatist-has transformed the Socratic dialogue into a genuine oratorial contest. In his version of the Republic, the interlocutors do much more than simply agree with Socrates. They argue, stand up to him, put him on the spot, and show thought in motion. In this work of dramatic scholarship and philosophy, we encounter a modern version of Plato's text that is alive, stimulating, and directly relevant to our own world.

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From the Publisher

Plato's Republic is one of the best-known and most widely-discussed texts in the history of philosophy. But how might we get to the heart of this work today, 2,500 years after its original composition? Alain Badiou breathes life into Plato's landmark text and revives its universality. Rather than producing yet another critical comment...

Alain Badiou is emeritus professor of philosophy at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. One of the most well-known philosophers of our time, he is also a novelist, playwright, and political activist. He is the author of The Incident at Antioch/L'Incident d'Antioche: A Tragedy in Three Acts/Tragédie en trois actes.Kenneth Reinhard i...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:400 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:May 19, 2015Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231160178

ISBN - 13:9780231160179

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Read Kenneth Reinhard's introduction, "Badiou's Sublime Translation of the Republic (to view in full screen, click on icon in bottom right-hand corner)

Table of Contents

Introduction, by Kenneth ReinhardTranslator's PrefaceAuthor's Preface to the English EditionPrefaceCharactersPrologue: The Conversation in the Villa on the Harbor (327a-336b)1. Reducing the Sophist to Silence (336b-357a)2. The Young People's Pressing Questions (357a-368d)3. The Origins of Society and the State (368d-376c)4. The Disciplines of the Mind: Literature and Music (376c-403c)5. The Disciplines of the Body: Nutrition, Medicine, and Physical Education (403c-412c)6. Objective Justice (412c-434d)7. Subjective Justice (434d-449a)8. Women and Families (449a-471c)9. What Is a Philosopher? (471c-484b)10. Philosophy and Politics (484b-502c)11. What Is an Idea? (502c-521c)12. From Mathematics to the Dialectic (521c-541b)13. Critique of the Four Pre-Communist Systems of Government. I: Timocracy and Oligarchy (541b-555b)14. Critique of the Four Pre-Communist Systems of Government. II: Democracy and Tyranny (555b-573b)15. Justice and Happiness (573b-592b)16. Poetry and Thought (592b-608b)Epilogue: The Mobile Eternity of Subjects (608b-621d)NotesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

What Badiou's translation of Plato leaves us with is a resounding passion for the truth. It leaves us with a rare sense that politics can once again be associated with courage and justice, and that we have an agency at our disposal that comes in the passionate work of bringing the idea of equality (communism) into existence.