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Plato: Republic

4. Plato's Theory of Knowledge

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About this Lecture


In this module, Nakul turns to Plato's theory of knowledge, considering a key challenge to the social hierarchy that Plato has laid out in his ideal city: why should philosophers be in charge of the ideal city? Plato answers this question in one of the most famous parts of the Republic, the Allegory of the Cave, in which he attempts to show that only philosophers have true knowledge of the world around us, and therefore only they are fit to rule.


In this course, Nakul Krishna (University of Oxford) considers some of the key philosophical problems in Plato's Republic. In the first module, he examines the fundamental question that the Republic is trying to answer: "Why should we be just?". In this second module, he discusses the creation of an ideal city from scratch, while after that he discusses one of the most ingenious arguments in the Republic in the context of the so-called city-soul analogy. In the fourth module, he discussed Plato's theory of knowledge, looking in particular at one of the most well-known parts of the Republic: the allegory of the cave. And finally, he considers Plato's philosophy of art, asking why it is that Plato chooses to ban artistic representation from his ideal city, and what possible responses we may have to Plato's arguments.


Nakul is a Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Cambridge. In addition to Plato's Euthyphro and Meno, he also teaches Plato's Republic as well as Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Krishna, N. (2018, August 15). Plato: Republic - Plato's Theory of Knowledge [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Krishna, N. "Plato: Republic – Plato's Theory of Knowledge." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,