The Republic, by Plato, is a dialogue that includes Socrates. It mainly tells about justice. The Republic is considered his best work and one of the most influential in philosophy and politics. It was written around 380BC in Greek. It expounds on the differences in the current regimes and their nature in the ruling.
The Plot of the Story
The tale begins with Socrates and Galucoon Heading home from a certain festival. They are ready to go to their respective homes when they meet some of their acquaintances. They are convinced to join the group which was heading to the house of Polemarchus.
When they arrive at this house, they meet Cephalus who is the father of Polemarchus and an old friend of Socrates. They start talking and share about aging and its advantages and disadvantages.
They then shift to the discussion about justice, and what it means, and this grabs the attention of everyone. Cephalus excuses himself after some time, and his son takes over. Polemarchus and Socrates, discuss the meaning of justice and whether justice is essential to the world.
Socrates brings up valid points, and Polemarchus agrees with them. Thrasymachus who has been listening jumps in angrily and criticizes the style that Socrates uses when arguing. Socrates seems startled, but he keeps the debate alive by addressing Thrasymachus, who believes that justice is about strength instead of goodness.
The debate goes on for some time, and then Glaucon joins in and inquires about the idea of good in the world. He goes on to tell a tale about an invisibility ring which was meant to support his idea about justice. Adeimantus also intervenes arguing with Socrates about their difference in the perception of justice.
Socrates finally decides that the way to tackle justice is by inventing a city. They describe their imaginary city concerning elements like health, employment, industry, and also education. They go into detail and even decide that since music and poetry mostly celebrate negative things, they will be censored by guardians.
They return to discussing justice and compare the city to a human soul, whereby there is a spiritual part, a rational part, and a desiring part.
Glaucon asks about the role of women and children in this society, and Socrates decides that women will share equal rights with men. They go ahead to discuss the government, and they venture into the different types of it. To decide the best government for the city, they talk about desire, which then leads them back to poetry. Socrates does not like poetry and sees it as a distortion of reality. The story ends when Socrates tells the one, named, Myth of Er.