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Philosopher-Kings: The Argument of Plato's Republic Paperback – March 15, 2006

1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0872208148 ISBN-10: 0872208141

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Editorial Reviews


Philosopher-Kings is a remarkable book, in the breadth of its scope as well as in the texture of its execution. It constitutes the most ambitious contemporary reading of the Republic, the most persistent, single-minded effort to give a unified reading of this immensely complex text. It is innovative in its attention not to a particular passage, argument, or theory on Plato's part, but to the whole of the Republic as a deeply coherent text, with no loose ends. --Alexander Nehamas, Princeton University

Reeve's brilliant treatment of the unity of Plato's Republic is a unique contribution to our understanding of that dialogue. Elegantly written, philosophically rich, his book stands to this day as one of the most creative readings of a Platonic dialogue of the past several decades. No one interested in Plato's ethics, political thought, and moral psychology can afford to neglect the striking and provocative way in which Reeve traces the parallel structures of Plato's literary masterpiece. --Michael L. Morgan, Indiana University

About the Author

C. D. C. Reeve is Delta Kappa Epsilon Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. (March 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0872208141
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872208148
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #693,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

C. D. C. (David) Reeve was born in Dundalk, Ireland in 1948. He is Delta Kappa Epsilon Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He writes about Ancient Greek Philosophy (primarily Plato and Aristotle), sex and love, and film.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Matt Brown on December 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Let me begin by saying that I am not a philosopher, and can confess to only being an interested amateur. I was first introduced to Plato, appropriately enough, by C.D.C. Reeve's translation of Republic. For years my interpretation of that book was fairly orthodox; that forms are self-instantiating universals that constitute the true reality; that the visible world we see is merely a shadow of this true world of forms; that the Kallipolis is either a pseudo-fascist state or a strict metaphor for the ideal soul, and so on. I was never quite happy with these interpretations since they left some rather gaping holes in their story, but I believed this had more to do with my own lack of expertise in the subject than with any fault of Plato or his various interpreters.

Reeve's commentary, Philosopher Kings, upended much of what I thought I knew about Plato's philosophy, simultaneously unifying the work in a way that others I had read had not been able to and presenting a much more (for myself) palatable philosophy of ethics and government. I won't attempt to summarize the work here, mainly because you should definitely read it yourself if you have any interest in Plato, but I will highlight a few points. His presentation of Plato's philosophy of the mind (i.e. the Tripartite Psyche) is one of the strongest and most interesting views of the mind I have come across, standing up well against more modern theories. His treatment of the Forms is nothing short of revolutionary, at once profound and insightful in a "why didn't I see that" sort of way.
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Philosopher-Kings: The Argument of Plato's Republic
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