City and Soul in Plato's Republic
This short book attempts to say what Plato is getting at in the Republic. Its strategy is to trace one bright thread, the comparison between the structure of a society and that of the individual soul, a theme that runs through the Republic and binds its argument. After some close-drawn critique in chapter two, which fastens on current misunderstandings of the analogy between city and soul, the remaining chapters have a more open texture. They argue for a quite different understanding of how Plato's comparison of city and soul works and of what its point is; they situate the comparison in the larger contexts of ancient rhetorical theory and of intellectual rivalry, above all the rivalry between Plato and Isocrates; finally, they give an account of the tyrant and the philosopher-king as a matched pair who in their different ways break with the terms of the city-soul analogy - a break which reveals the characters and motives of both. The book does not hesitate to apply the results of its inquiry into the city-soul analogy to some very familiar themes in the interpretation of the Republic - the sincerity of its utopianism, the justice of the philosopher's return to the Cave. In lieu of an introduction, the opening chapter offers a study of Glaucon and Adeimantus - of their characters, their desires, their reasons for challenging Socrates - in the course of which the argument of the remaining chapters comes into view. For the city-soul analogy is proposed by Socrates as a response to the brothers' challenge, and it turns out to respond to their deepest needs.