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The Rhetoric of Plato'S RepublicDemocracy and the Philosophical Problem of Persuasion$
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James L. Kastely

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226278629

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226278766.001.0001

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The Republic

The Republic

Plato’s Democratic Epic

(p.1) Chapter One The Republic
The Rhetoric of Plato'S Republic

James L. Kastely

University of Chicago Press

Plato sets his dialogue in a democratic Athens where the standard defense of justice fails to persuade anyone that justice in itself is valuable or desirable. This points to the inadequacy of normal rhetoric to defend values foundational for a democracy and argues that philosophy has an important role to play in the reconstitution of a democratic citizenry who would then value justice and desire to be just. The problem for philosophy is that it has little authority with an audience of non-philosophers, so if it is to speak to that audience, it needs to find an appropriate rhetoric.

Keywords:   philosophy, rhetoric, persuasion, non-philosopher, defense of justice, democracy

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