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The Republic by Plato - Barron's Booknotes
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GLOSSARY

AGORA

The marketplace of ancient Greece and the central meeting place in the city.

ALLEGORY

An expression, usually in the form of a story, intended to convey a truth or generalization about the human condition through the use of symbolic characters and objects-for example, Plato's Allegory of the Cave.

DELPHIC ORACLE

The prophet (seer) of the temple of Apollo at Delphi who the ancient Greeks believed had the power to foretell the future and who was consulted when important decisions had to be made. The temple in which the oracle dwelled was reputed to be at the center (the navel) of the earth.

DIALECTIC

A term Plato uses to designate the process of moving from hypothetical starting points (some of which often seem to conflict or to be contradictory) of arguments to first principles of the nature of things. For Plato, the terms "dialectic" and "philosophy" are usually synonymous.

EPISTEMOLOGY

A major discipline of philosophy that investigates the nature, limitations, scope, and sources of knowledge. In the Greek language episteme means "knowledge" or "science" and logos means, among other things, "theory" and "study"; thus, epistemology is the study of knowledge.

EROS

A Greek word meaning "love," usually sensual, erotic love. Also, Eros is the name of the Greek god of love, the son of Aphrodite.



ETHOS

The Greek word meaning "character" or "custom" from which we derive the word "ethics" (the discipline that deals with moral values, principles, and character traits).

FATES

Three Greek goddesses, the daughters of Necessity; Lachesis holds sway over the past, Clotho over the present, and Atropos over the future.

HOI POLLOI

A Greek term meaning "the many" and often translated as "the multitude," "the mob," "the vulgar masses," and "the common people."

HYPOTHESIS

A tentative assumption or a formulation of a general principle based on inference from observed data. Plato includes hypotheses in level 3 of the Divided Line; thus, for him, hypotheses are the objects of knowledge derived from reflection on the nature of the physical world.

MUSES

The nine sister goddesses of Greek mythology who presided over the various arts-music, history, visual arts, literature, culture, philosophy.

PARADIGM

A theoretical model or pattern; Plato's Divided Line, for example, presents a theoretical model of the ascending levels of having knowledge.

Table of Contents


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The Republic by Plato - Barron's Booknotes
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