Interpreting Plato's Republic: Knowledge and Belief

Philosophy Compass 5 (10):854-864 (2010)
A distinction between knowledge and belief is set out and justified at the end of Book V of Plato’s Republic. The justification is intended to establish the claim of the philosophers to rule in an ideal state. I set out the argument and explain why considerable disagreement remains about the nature of the distinction and the assumptions on which it rests. I discuss the main options for interpreting the justification, briefly assessing their strengths and weaknesses. I conclude with comments on recent developments, and by drawing attention to a neglected aspect of Plato’s distinction.
Keywords Plato  Metaphysics  Ancient Philosophy  Being  Epistemology  History of Philosophy  Explanation
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    R. C. Cross (1964). Plato's Republic. New York, St. Martin's Press.
    Gail Fine (1978). Knowledge and Belief in Republic V. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 60 (2):121-39.

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