Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Ten Years in the Making!

It's a nice feeling when a project gets finished.  It's an even nicer feeling when that project has been ten years in the making.  2002 was the year when Steve Mayo and I began to write our on-line commentary on Plato's Republic.  The idea was to provide students with a section-by-section commentary of Plato's text that would help them make sense of the fairly difficult philosophical concepts in the work. 

During the ten years that the commentary was on-line, we received hundreds of questions, comments, and requests for clarification from students and faculty members all over the world (from Latin America to Africa to the Australian outback to almost every state in the U.S.).  We also got a fair amount of praise from people who said that the commentary helped them to get through the text with far fewer tears than they might otherwise have had. 

Two years ago I took down the Sophia Project in order to create SophiaOmni, a publishing company founded upon distributivist economic principles.  Our commentary on the Republic came down with it, but Steve and I promised that we would rework what we had written and publish it through the newly established press.  That work has finally been done

The text of Plato's Republic, along with our section-by-section commentary, will be used for the first time in a college classroom this fall.  I can't promise that all the students in the class will be delighted about having to read Plato, but I know damn well that they'll be far better human beings for having struggled to make sense of the greatest ideas conceived by the greatest philosopher the world has ever known!

And that's got to count for something, doesn't it?


THE REPUBLIC is universally regarded as one of the most important works of philosophy ever written.   The text was written by Plato at the height of his literary and intellectual powers and treats subjects as diverse as politics, aesthetics, ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, human psychology, family life, the role of women in society, educational theory, leadership, and warfare.   Some would say that the text is as relevant today as it was in the fifth century B.C. when it was written, providing a unique window into our own political and social lives in the 21st century.
SophiaOmni’s study guide to THE REPUBLIC is unique in that it has been designed for the philosophical novice in mind.  Assuming no prior knowledge of the discipline of philosophy or Plato’s thought, this edition provides the reader with the tools he or she needs to read Plato’s work profitably.    Each section of the text has been divided topically and provided with clear commentary aimed at illuminating the major themes of the text and their philosophical significance.  References at the end of each section of the text provide resources for those seeking to delve further into any of the ideas presented in THE REPUBLIC.

Stephan T. Mayo and Michael S. Russo are Professors of Philosophy at Molloy College in New York.


Great ideas endure forever.  SophiaOmni Wisdom Classics Editions are perennial works written by some of the world’s most provocative, iconoclastic thinkers, whose ideas continue to inspire and enlighten in our own age.  Each edition has been carefully edited and introduced by experts in the fields of philosophy, religion, or ethics to provide a helping hand to those who might otherwise be intimidated by the thought of reading great works from the past and set them on their way to a lifelong love affair with the pursuit of wisdom.

1 comment:

  1. Ten years! That's almost half my life!!! What took you guys so long???