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Re-examining Plato's Republic
Monday, March 9, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.
Plato pointing toward heaven in The School of Athens by Raphael, ca. 1511
Plato’s Republic, a utopian vision of the state, remains one of the most influential documents in the history of democracy and political philosophy.
Written in response to the failure of Athenian democracy in the 5th century B.C., it is an imagined dialogue between Socrates and a group of young interlocutors who sought to find justice in the political organization of the state. It is the first preserved literary attempt in the West to set out a philosophically based guide to forming the ideal political unit—and was profoundly anti-democratic.
Frederick Winter, an archaeologist and retired professor of classics and classical archaeology at the City University of New York, discusses the continuing influence of the Republic and how a re-examination of this key Western text provides important insights into our own era of political transformation.
S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)