Plato on Justice and Power

Reading Book 1 of Plato’s Republic

  • Kimon Lycos

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Introduction: ‘Turning the Soul Around’

  3. Dramatic Characterisation

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 19-19
    2. Kimon Lycos
      Pages 21-39
  4. The Argument

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 71-71
    2. Kimon Lycos
      Pages 73-92
    3. Kimon Lycos
      Pages 93-105
    4. Kimon Lycos
      Pages 106-119
    5. Kimon Lycos
      Pages 154-174
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 175-201

About this book


Book 1 of Plato's Republic is often treated as a merely negative prelude to the theory of justice presented in the main body of that book. This study argues that, though an introduction to later ideas, Book 1 has its own positive theme and function: to press for the acceptance of a certain perspective on justice that is opposed to conventional interpretations of it. This perspective requires that justice be seen as 'internal' to the power human beings have to render things (including themselves and their societies) good. The analysis of Plato's dramatic characterisation, as well as the discussion of Socrates' arguments, is guided by the thought that they form aspects of a complex overall strategy through which Plato hopes to overcome the resistance of his contemporaries to the 'Socratic' perspective on justice.


argue bibliography body corpus drama interpret Plato press resistance society Socrates structure

Authors and affiliations

  • Kimon Lycos
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyAustralian National UniversityAustralia

Bibliographic information