Please submit a short commentary (roughly 3-4 pages long) on the following passage in Plato’s Republic —
The passage is found near the middle of Book I. The passage begins on pg. 21 of your paperback book (ed. Bloom, Plato’s Republic), pg. 44 of the PDF, principes line 343a, “When we came to this point in the argument and it was evident to everyone that the argument about the just had turned around in the opposite direction…” and continues to pg. 25, pg. 48 of the PDF, “… and which speech is truer in your opinion?.”, principes line 347e.
Your commentary should achieve two goals.
One is descriptive. You should tell me what is happening in these paragraphs in simple language. Figure out what the views are and describe them to me. What is the context of the discussion, or how does the passage I’ve selected relate to bigger thematic issues at work in the Republic and/or Book I? Aim to restate the protagonists’ views in a few short sentences before further describing the structure and content of the passage I’ve selected. Accuracy is important, but so is recognizing when the author is, in fact, developing a valuable aspect of their argument. Your primary aim here is to CLARIFY the selected material. Think about what steps the discussion takes, and why it takes those steps.
The second goal is evaluative. You should tell me how strong you think THRASYMACHUS’ argument(s) is (or are), and why. Is Thrasymachus persuasive? How compelling is the evidence Thrasymachus provides for his view(s)? BUT you also want to tell me how strong you think SOCRATES is in his reply. Consider possible objections to your own position on this back and forth, and consider how you can stand up to criticisms of your EVALUATION.
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