Plato's Republic

Is it always better to be just than unjust? That is the central question of Plato's Republic, discussed here by Melvyn Bragg and guests. Writing in c380BC, Plato applied this question both to the individual and the city-state, considering earlier and current forms of government in Athens and potential forms, in which the ideal city might be ruled by philosophers. The Republic is arguably Plato's best known and greatest work, a dialogue between Socrates and his companions, featuring the allegory of the cave and ideas about immortality of the soul, the value of poetry to society, and democracy's vulnerability to a clever demagogue seeking tyranny.


Angie Hobbs
Professor of the Public Understanding of Philosophy at the University of Sheffield

MM McCabe
Professor of Ancient Philosophy Emerita at King's College London


James Warren
Fellow of Corpus Christi College and a Reader in Ancient Philosophy at the University of Cambridge

Producer: Simon Tillotson.

Release date:

Available now

43 minutes

Last on

Thu 29 Jun 2017 21:30

Related topics


MM McCabe at King's College London

Angie Hobbs at the University of Sheffield

James Warren at the University of Cambridge

‘Culture and Society in Plato’s Republic’ by Myles Burnyeat - The Tanner Lectures 1997

Plato’s Republic – Wikipedia



Julia Annas, An Introduction to Plato's Republic (Oxford University Press, 1998)

Rachel Barney, Tad Brennan and Charles Brittain, Plato and the Divided Self (Cambridge University Press, 2012)

G. R. F. Ferrari (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Plato's Republic (Cambridge University Press, 2007)

Angela Hobbs, Plato and the Hero: Courage, Manliness and the Impersonal Good (Cambridge University Press, 2000)

Angela Hobbs, Plato's Republic (Ladybird Expert Book, to be published 2018)

Thomas More (trans. Dominic Baker-Smith), Utopia 1516 (Penguin, 2012)

Grethe B. Peterson (ed.), The Tanner Lectures on Human Values: 18 (University of Utah Press, 1997), especially ‘Culture and Society in Plato’s Republic’ by Myles Burnyeat

Gerald A. Press (ed.), The Continuum Companion to Plato (Bloomsbury, 2012)

Gerasimos Santas (ed.), The Blackwell Guide to Plato's Republic (Wiley-Blackwell, 2006)

Malcolm Schofield, Plato (Oxford University Press, 2006)



Role Contributor
PresenterMelvyn Bragg
Interviewed GuestMM McCabe
Interviewed GuestAngie Hobbs
Interviewed GuestJames Warren
ProducerSimon Tillotson

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