Republic (Plato)

Read this summary of Plato's Republic. Pay particular attention to the summary of Books 6,7, and 8; the Theory of Universals; to the definition of justice; and to the Ideal City. What are the four types of government which Plato rejects, and why does he reject them?

While visiting the Piraeus with Glaucon, Polemarchus tells Socrates to join him for a romp. Socrates then asks Cephalus, Polemarchus, and Thrasymachus their definitions of justice. Cephalus defines justice as giving what is owed. Polemarchus says justice is "the art which gives good to friends and evil to enemies". Thrasymachus proclaims "justice is nothing else than the interest of the stronger". Socrates overturns their definitions and says that it is to one's advantage to be just and disadvantage to be unjust. The first book ends in aporia concerning its essence.