The Ascent to the Good

The Reading Order of Plato’s Dialogues from Symposium to Republic

Franciso L. Lisi (ed), Lanham: Lexington Books, 2007


Praised and condemned by totalitarians and democrats, liberals, fascists and communists, progressives and conservatives, Plato’s Republic is one of the most influential writings in the history of political ideas. In its central books the philosopher puts in the mouth of Socrates the principles of its challenging political construction. The defense of the philosophical government in Plato’s Republic reveals the necessity of distinguishing true philosophers from false ones. This issue leads to the central question of the Good, the principle that constitutes the foundation of philosophical knowledge and of political activity. Once this principle has been introduced, the subsequent question turns on the education of the philosophers, which occupies Book VII. The present volume contains contributions to the main issues developed in Books V-VII of the Republic, on which the attention of scholarship in the past 100 years has focused, practical philosophy, metaphysics, dialectics, and the question of the Good.

(Text from the publisher)

Table of contents


  1. The foundations of politics in the central books of the Republic – Francisco L. Lisi

Part I Philosophical Government and Education

  1. Politici e filosofi sulla nave della città – Silvia Gastaldi
  2. Elementi di una fenomenologia della massa nella Repubblica di Platone – Marco Russo
  3. Physis in Republic V 471c – VII 541b – Gottfried Heinemann
  4. Cultivating Intellectual Virtue in Plato’s Philosopher-Rulers – John Cleary
  5. L’innovazione platonica nell’allegoria della caverna – Silvia Campese

Part II Being and Dialectics

  1. ΕΙΝΑΙ, ΟΥΣΙΑ e ΟΝ nei libri centrali della Repubblica – Francesco Fronterotta
  2. Glaucone e i misteri della dialettica – Mario Vegetti

Part III The Good

  1. L’analogia solare del VI libro della Repubblica – Francesca Calabi
  2. La potenza del “Buono” – Franco Ferrari
  3. The Form of the Good – Francisco L. Lisi
  4. El sembrador divino (phutourgós) – Luc Brisson
  5. L’interpretazione del Bene nella Dissertazione XI del Commento alla Repubblica di Proclo – Michelle Abbatte


Index locorum


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