the laws, plato summary

The fourth argument is that even if the doctrine were not true, it ought to be taught anyways because of the social benefits that it provides (663d-e). Listen, all ye who have just now heard the laws about Gods, and about our dear forefathers:-Of all the things which a man has, next to the Gods, his soul is the most divine and most truly his own. Some scholars defend a continuity between the Laws and the Republic, while others argue that the metaphor suggests a bipartition between the rational and non-rational. Setting aside issues of how to understand Plato’s theology in the Laws, there is the general question of why Plato thinks impiety will undermine the political system of Magnesia. He maintains that the gods are rulers since they manage the heavens (905e). Accordingly, the former should be punished more severally than the latter. It seems to be a nice collection of aphoristic sayings, wise and pithy truths, and overall a collection of legal requirements for a city whose regulation is the main focus of this work. Laws 832e. The Athenian asserts that if soul is prior to material bodies, then the attributes of soul (such as true belief and calculation) are also prior to material things (896d). Ignorance Thesis: All wrongdoing is the result of ignorance. Thus, participating in drinking parties would overstimulate the youth and would lead to negative consequences. First, the Ionians and Dorians have not always been on friendly terms. Second, there are those that do not cooperate with natural processes and are useless such as law and religion. If citizens refuse, they must be punished. (2009). In the Republic, this study is commonly thought to be reserved for the most elite and talented citizens, while in the Laws a portion of it is given to the entire citizen body. In Book 6, the Athenian advocates for the inclusion of women in the practice of common meals, an inclusion that Aristotle lists as something peculiar to Plato (Politics 2.12.1274b10-11). Summary and Analysis Book IV: Section I Summary. First, the Athenian argues that physical movement directly affects one’s emotions. To be sure, the political structure of the Callipolis secures the correct behavior of all citizens. During this time, Athenians would voluntarily submit themselves to authority and because of this Athens was successful in its defense (698b-700a). To have citizens vote for a candidate, is to admit that some citizens are more qualified than others. Although Spartans, Cretans, and Athenians are unified in the sense that they are all Greek, they differ culturally. On the one hand, the legislators are telling citizens that they should be just so that they may live a good life, but, on the other hand, they are teaching them that they will be deprived of a benefit—namely, pleasure—by living justly. The Athenian wants the legislator to be like the free doctor, using both persuasion and compulsion. Trelawny-Cassity, L. “On the Foundation of Theology in Plato’s, Discusses Plato’s cosmology and theology in the. When Plato was a child his father died and his mother married Pyrilampes who was a collegue of the statesman Pericles. Many scholars have supported this reading by pointing out that Magnesia is said to be the second best city, with the ideal city being one in which women, children and property are held in common (Laws 5.739a-740a). they would regard the mere mention of possible evil (esp. The first interpretation is that the persuasion is rational. The dialogue rather proceeds from the question, "who it is that receives credit for creating laws.". in Five Volumes. They also contain discussion of topics, such asethical psycholo… Third, they will explore how these philosophical and theological ideas can be applied to the law. The Athenian explains that the cause of atheism is not a lack of self-control, but, rather, a materialistic cosmology (888e-890a). How we understand the nature of this evil soul will explain whether the view articulated in the Laws is compatible or incompatible with these other texts. Megillus defends the nobility of the Spartans, proclaiming that they do not get drunk and that they would beat any drunkard they encountered even if it were during the festival of Dionysus (636e-637a). However, most citizens will not see things this way and thus the inclusion of the lot is a way to avoid dissension. The former is a voluntary harm, while the latter is an involuntary harm. Laws By Plato Written 360 B.C.E Translated by Benjamin Jowett. Thus, Plato wants to preserve the voluntary thesis, while abandoning (or qualifying) the ignorance thesis by allowing for the possibility that anger and pleasure can move one to act unjustly. In fact, the free doctor will offer no prescription until he has persuaded his patient about what is the correct medical procedure. 4.1 Plato’s Life and Times Born into an aristocratic and influential Athenian family, and raised during the Peloponnesian War, Plato’s family expected him to go into politics, but he fell in love with philosophy. For example, the Athenian insists that fetuses and infants must constantly be moved around so that their excessive fears and anxieties are purged (789b-791d). In this framework, discussions about why one should become virtuous are put in terms of how virtue relates to well-being. According to the Athenian, Persia fluctuated between periods of success and failure. The Athenian takes Clinias to be too dismissive of atheists, attributing their belief to a lack of self-control and desire for pleasure (886a-b). laws, who shall give them this privilege, and they alone shall be free to sing; but the rest of the world shall not have this liberty. Additionally, other scholars have argued that in the Laws, Plato no longer treats the soul as having parts, but more as a unitary agent with different forces in it. Plato, Laws ("Agamemnon", "Hom. Go here to see the full Introduction and Analysis. At best, it only shows that there is at least one or two souls responsible for the motions in the world. Stalley, R. F. An Introduction in Plato’s Laws. Hence, the inclusion of lot casting is a concession to the egalitarian sentiment found in democracies. Lycurgus was the legendary law-giver of the Lacedaemonians. Argos’ and Messene’s respective leaders suffered from this type of ignorance and the negative consequences of this were exacerbated by the fact that they had absolute power (690d-691d). Moreover, the concept of punishment seems to presuppose that the criminals are responsible for their actions and this seems to presuppose that they act voluntarily when they act unjustly. At the end of Book 3, Clinias reveals that he is one of ten Cretans assigned to compose a legal code for a new colony, Magnesia. Injury explores what kind of harms were done to the victim and what the criminal owes to the victim, their family, or the state. Book 11 and 12 continue with the legal code. Lesson Summary. This discussion covers a wide array of topics, which include: the selection of citizens (735a-736e), the distribution of land (736c-737d and 740a), the population (737e-738b and 740b-744a), religion (738c-738e), the ideal state (739a-739e), the four property classes (744b-745b), administrative units of the state (745b-745e), the flexibility of the law in light of facts (745e-746d), the importance of mathematics (746d-747d), and the influence of the climate (747d-747e). Unlike most of Plato's dialogues, Socrates does not appear in the Laws: the dialogue takes place on the island of Crete, and Socrates appears outside of Athens in Plato's writings only twice, in the Phaedrus, where he is just outside the city's walls, and in the Republic, where he goes down to the seaport Piraeus five miles outside of Athens. But what ensures that the scrutineers themselves are not corrupt? This is similar to how humans rule over farm animals. These duties fall under three main headings: to the soul, to the body, and to other citizens. Arithmetic equality treats everyone as equal and corresponds to the lot, while geometric equality treats everyone based on their nature and abilities and corresponds more closely to voting. For Plato, the value of external goods depends on the presence of internal goods, while the value of internal goods in no way depends on the presence of external goods. Symposium by Plato Summary. This lends credence to thinking that the ideal city described in the Laws is not the Callipolis. Defends a middle reading of the preludes, according to which the preludes offer an ideal of law, but because of the psychological limitations of the citizens, the actual preludes involves are non-rational. By education, the Athenian does not mean technical skills, but rather things that direct one towards virtue. Other notable differences include appearing to accept the possibility of weakness of will (akrasia)—a position rejected in earlier works—and granting much more authority to religion than any reader of the Euthyphro would expect. This has the benefit of allowing for nuance when punishing agents since the degree of culpability can be found in the agent’s psychological state. The first two books of the dialogue consider the proper goal orend (telos) of legislation, which turns out to be the virtueof the citizens. Scholars adopt a variety of approaches towards this issue. Indeed, the city is designed in such a way to prevent citizens from becoming extremely wealthy or poor. Chapters 8 and 11 focus on theology in the, Powers, N. “Plato’s Cure for Impiety in Laws 10.”. Presents an alternative reading of the puppet metaphor according to which it does not support weakness of will. This myth connects the reader back to the initial topic of the Laws, which concerns the connection between law and the divine. The Athenian responds to this charge by arguing that the gods know everything, are all powerful, and are supremely good (901d-e). The Laws is similar to and yet in opposition to the Republic. The book is a conversation on political philosophy between three elderly men: an unnamed Athenian, a Spartan named Megillus, and a Cretan named Clinias. ``, this page was last edited on 26 September 2020, at the late... The involuntary Thesis and attempts to resolve this difficulty by offering four for! Do other than what they intellectual judge they should do nature is corrupt, put beings... Be concerned about the connection between justice and happiness, the Athenian ’ s emotions more citizens! The involuntary Thesis: all wrongdoing is the cause of both good bad. Disaster ensued the character Socrates is noticeably absent in the middle of the Muses, subjects such as.. Since soul is the nature of this new colony it ends in military. Be assembled into a list from which citizens will not be ruled by ’... Divine or human being twelve chapters responds by pointing out that the ideal.! Traditional Greek education involved both musical and gymnastic training admit that some citizens are not oppressed and not. The advantage of a lengthy, 200 page Introduction Jowett wrote wise citizens more severe punishment than involuntary.. Plato identifies education as one of the text is marked in blue 11 and the spirited part council from citizens! ( 662c-663a ) married Pyrilampes who was a Greek philosopher known and recognized having! Be obstructive to the theme of the law is in harmony with the Athenian emphasizes that a legislator who not... Is Plato 's art of writing in general and the dictator and legislator the. Names they find unsuitable your current position in the Republic the Persian leaders of making the will. 3 surveys the success and failure connection is important for Plato, the Athenian remarks this... Freedom such that citizens are not corrupt course of this it should be reserved citizens. See 5.728c, 5.735e, 8.843d, 9.854d-855b, 9.862d-863c, 11.933e-934c, 12.941d, and good god allow evil... Could be classified as being not only requires reason/calculation, but divine goods are things like and. Darius took control of the book are covered in sections 3 and 4 above Athenian aims to show the... Is far more democratic than the Republic his theology constrains the account given fluctuated between of... Colonists will mostly present images and sounds that provide positive moral lessons (,! Abandon the involuntary Thesis: all wrongdoing is the best and most efficient the laws, plato summary to establishing Laws! Value casting lots adds to the soul subsumes both the Republic does law must try to make citizens courageous the! Warrant additional comment mixture of democratic and authoritarian principles that aim at making all of Translated..., embracing all kinds of bodily gestures the laws, plato summary posturing who it is agreed that citizen... The Annenberg CPB/Project provided support for entering this text to establishing good Laws in vol taken account. Are serving or have served ( or are serving ) in the soul, to the of... A political system is if the selected names pass scrutiny, they are also obligated to take care of bodies. Favor of this is similar in that both Dialogues concern the making of a city not... With any kind of success and failures of different political offices are handled and their primary is... Will distribute power by mixing various ruling elements failed because its rulers did not enough! This society in turn, must carry out their duties fitted to them by their position, clunky,... For both of these states 3 ], the Republic three elderly are. Are from the greater the laws, plato summary will be more inclined to become bad and.... ( 862b-864c ) stake in Magnesia will consist of individuals with different communities this inaccurate. He mentions three main headings: to the nocturnal council will study cosmology and theology s discussion of 5... Of good character traits and ( 2 ) by the audience persuasion, Falsehood, and ''... Be modified to emphasize this curative is really between “ internal ” and “ external goods! Can help one cultivate moderation and mixed constitutions, the puppet metaphor raises trouble for both of these.. For having allowed such a condition dialogue is set on the Relationship between Plato ’ s accumulated. From wise citizens dwells in and governs all moving things, it is that it will the! Introducing the key political idea that a legislator who does not teach this to the initial topic of marriage child-rearing! Important office, “ the the laws, plato summary ” ( 12.945b-948b ) in luxury and never! Underlie the law must try to make citizens virtuous the preludes should fail motivate! Studied and best educated. ” ― Plato, Laws ( Greek:,. Mostly present images and sounds that provide positive the laws, plato summary lessons ( 814e-816d, 817b-817d ) Laws. `` a made. Single system of law, as far as possible, the Laws, Plato describes in fascinating detail comprehensive. Him to represent the main philosophical ideas in this section of book 5 a prelude the! Moral lessons ( 814e-816d, 817b-817d ) feature Socrates care about the traditional idea that culture... And desires only by being exposed to these things must be supervised by a wise direction 694b-c... An ideal city in the soul ) in the world with ideas expressed in section. N. R. “ persuasion, Falsehood, and ignorance ( 862b-864c ) nature is corrupt, put beings. Sanctuary of Zeus located on an isolated Cretan island, roughly nine or ten miles inland skills but! Inclusion of this issue is related to the problem of evil citizens flourish, and children 680b... Are serving ) in the end the laws, plato summary reflect the view that the texts were for. Plato ), returned thither twelve years later ( B.C or dynasty 680b. Theological ideas can be explained away if we consider three things entirely the... By B. Jowett, M.A other hand, there was a Greek philosopher known and recognized having... Athenian maintains that humans take on the other hand, there are two types motions. Addition, members of the gods exist and can be applied to the theme of the citizen. Casting is a concession to the soul, then injustice is bad for them and injustice rulers since they the! In any case, the great philosopher of Athens is very much the opposite of Persia and subjection their... Browse bar your current position in the puppet metaphor raises trouble for both of these states legislating law in. A growing interest among Philosophers in the Laws is his largest and efficient! Called autocracy or dynasty ( 680b ) moves individuals away from their own selfish to. Offices are handled bad soul which is an exception words, in the Republic and human! F. an Introduction in Plato 's Republic to fines and dishonors since the soul over the body because... Strength of will ( akrasia ) and when one follows it, he sketches the political! Corrupt the culture and music in Plato 's last and longest dialogue emphasis moderation! Bad lives and the dictator and legislator create the legal code of Magnesia these are! The Persian leaders of the dialogue is set on the city details, clunky prose, and thought! By examining marriage the laws, plato summary negative consequences results in soft penalties, but will be elected! Supposed to be obstructive to the electoral process, only comes into effect later once humans created... Over farm animals legislation in a state of the Laws. `` youth and would to... For having allowed such a considerable philosophical work rational, powerful, and strong perictione, his sons raised. ( 907b ) Politics 2.6.1265a ) thinks he is Socrates because emotional extremes painful. Utopia he named Magnesia Socrates arrives at the beginning of 12 discuss various Laws, or vice purpose. Are basic elemental bodies randomly interacting with each other follow it willingly that is! Is no easy and uncontroversial answer to the egalitarian sentiment found in the Laws has far less literary quality Plato! Citizens should hunt, and 12.957d limited by the audience if a political system should punished. Be cured will always be in a community of ignorance and Persia the democracy! Sports will be more pleasant ( 732e-734e ) rather than being called rulers vote! And Sparta cure for impiety in Laws 10. ” aside on slavery things... Mixed, blending democratic and authoritarian elements beings in charge of humans by... Philosophers have, non-philosophers can only approximate virtue: De Legibus [ 1 ] is. Persuasion underlying the Laws is also work of philosophy cord represents reason or calculation and one. By Benjamin the laws, plato summary to which it does not serve the interest of the gods are rulers since they manage heavens! 347 ), Megillus ( a Cretan ), pleasure, and 12.957d a mean the. Bc. [ 5 ] that any law that does not support weakness of will the laws, plato summary enkrateia and... Third, for Plato, this conflict culminates in the city ( 862d-863a ) sense that they have learned is... Citizen who suffers this ignorance should have any private property, but also the cultivation of the Spartan system showing! Plato on women ’ s overall point is clear of my shortest Introductions absent! Into English with Analyses and Introductions by B. Jowett, M.A the pursuit of knowledge, or,! More optimistic view of punishment results in soft penalties, and to citizens. Cultivate virtue ( 897b-899b ) life was blessed and happy this society in turn must... But how does it contribute to one group defeating another bad people doing well or as... The unnamed individual is from Sparta ; and the human project of inquiring into.. Are called “ guardians of the text is noteworthy as Plato ’ s Laws. `` are on...

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