From the Introduction, by Spencer Leeson:
The Essay that is here reprinted was first published in Hellenica in 1880. Its author, Richard Lewis Nettleship, was born in 1846, and from 1869 till his death in the Alps in 1892 he was a Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy at Balliol College, Oxford. Pupils of his who survive speak of his extraordinary power as a teacher, and especially as an expounder of Plato. Except for this Essay and a Memoir of T. H. Green he published nothing; but after his death some of his philosophical lectures and remains were brought together and issued in two volumes, one of which contains his lectures on Plato's Republic.
Much has been written about the educational sections of the Republic, but so far as I know there is no publication in English other than this Essay which treats Plato's views on education as a single whole, with fullness and yet within a manageable compass. Moreover the merits of the Essay are in themselves very great, and no teacher could wish for any better introduction to the study and practice of his calling. The theory of education, like the theory of so much else, begins with Plato, and some knowledge of what he thought upon that subject has for a long time been required in those who follow courses in Education in Universities and Training Colleges. But up to now those who knew of Nettleship's Essay have had to go to Hellenica, and Hellenica is difficult to get hold of. All of us therefore who are eager to investigate the philosophical assumptions and beliefs by which our daily work is directed will feel grateful to the Oxford University Press for reprinting and republishing the Essay in separate form, to Messrs. Longmans, Green & Co. and to Nettleship's literary executors for their courtesy in permitting the work to be undertaken, and to the Trustees of the Jowett Copyright Fund, who have generously contributed towards the expenses of printing.
The text has been taken from the second edition of Hellenica, published in 1898. The four section headings
and the marginal notes are not to be found there; they have been introduced into this edition in order
that the progress of the argument may be more easily grasped by readers who do not know the Republic in the original.
There was probably never a time when more thought and care was given than it is to-day to working out the best methods of teaching particular
subjects, and to all that concerns the organization and material equipment of the Schools. But there is much dissension and confusion upon what is the supreme purpose, or the 'architectonic end', for the attainment of which all the rest exists; and it is useless, as well as illogical, to consider schemes of organization and methods of instruction until we have set before ourselves a clear idea of this ultimate objective. Such
and such a scheme or method is best; but best for what? passing examinations, or 'getting on', or training in citizenship, or the development of personality, or what? This primary question needs thinking out.
Apart from a piece cut out of the first black page (pictured) it is in very good condition
1961 reprint: reprinted lithographically by Lowe and Brydone (Printers) Ltd, London NW10 from sheets of the first edition