|About the Book|
Although Platos Republic is perhaps the most influential text in the history of Western philosophy, Claudia Baracchi finds that the work remains obscure and enigmatic. To fully understand and appreciate its meaning, Baracchi argues, we must attend to what its original language discloses. Through a close reading of the Greek text, attentive to the pervasiveness of story and myth, Baracchi investigates the dialogues major themes. The first part of the book addresses issues of generation, reproduction, and decay as they apply to the founding of Socrates just city. The second part takes up the connection between war and the cycle of life, through a thorough analysis of Platos rendition of the myth of Er. In beautifully crafted prose, Baracchi shows that the Republic is concerned throughout with the complex but intertwined issues of life and war, locating the site of this tangled web of growth and destruction in the mythical dimension of the Platonic city. What is the relation of war to the cycle of life, death, and rebirth? Is war to be seen as a uniquely traumatic event shattering the order of the living, or does it simply reflect the natural disasters that throw the world off balance? In Baracchis deft interpretation, primordial issues of life and death, darkness and light, force and harmony emerge from this important Platonic text. In a larger sense, Baracchis stimulating book illuminates the fundamental function of myth in philosophical inquiry.