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Truth Through Combat

A Notetaking Tool for Plato’s Republic

It is a surprising fact that one of the greatest works of western literature has little in the way of pedagogical aids to assist instructors who teach the text, but that is in fact the situation with regard to Plato’s Republic. Sure, there are commentaries galore; and yes, there are the occasional summaries and even a decent treasure trove of related images (there’s good stuff on the Allegory of the Cave, the Divided Line, and not-so-good imagery on The Myth of Er).

Still, with all of the accumulated commentary of two millennia and the subsequent rise of the web in the last two decades, we should have more. We need good processes for studying the text and for teaching it, and these are unfortunately lacking.

This document is an attempt at a partial remedy: Notetaking Tool for Platos Republic.Its objective is not to summarize the text, or to depict it visually, or to comment upon it (at least this is not the principal aim), but to assist the student and instructor who determine to read it (either in its entirety or partially).

The document does not attempt to promote a particular interpretation, although one probably emerges out of it. Its chief purpose is to ask questions that are relevant to each of the sections (roughly carved up in the same way as in Desmond Lee’s translation and Penguin Books publication).

It’s my hope that it will prove useful to those who seek to study it, but I am also under no illusion of perfection. I have undoubtedly missed many questions and relevant issues, and there is no doubt that my lack of Greek hampers my understanding.

Critical comments are most welcome.

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