plato laws book 10 summary

Robert Mayhew, Plato: Laws 10, Oxford University Press, 2008, 238pp., $70.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780199225965. Poets imitate ATHENIAN: Tell me, Strangers, is a God or some man supposed to be the author of your laws? And in Laws 10, the character Kleinias draws attention precisely to the political significance of the subject: a successful defense of theism would be, he says, the "finest and best prelude on behalf of all the laws" (887b, my emphasis). This article is a summary into the Athenian interlocutor's argument into the relevance and existence of the Plot Summary. At a number of points throughout the dialogue Plato emphasizes that belief in the gods is essential to the establishment of a good law code and to the ongoing administration of justice. Despite the caveats that I shall express below, this is a book that anyone seriously interested in Plato's Laws will want to consult. Scholars generally agree that Plato wrote this dialogue as an older man, … Written in the hope that it may shed some light on what is a poorly recognised yet important piece of Ancient Greek philosophical work. Plato: Laws. It develops laws to govern a projected state and is apparently meant to be practical in a way that … Buy Books and CD-ROMs: Help : Laws By Plato. Laws, Books 1-6 book. • (624a-625a) Zeus and Apollo credited with the origin of Cretan and Spartan laws. energy from the rational part. Like Minos, they too wil… Accessibility Information. (The law itself is formulated and discussed only briefly at the end of Book 10; most of the intervening space is occupied with a formal rhetorical "prelude" to the law addressing the root causes of impious actions -- namely, incorrect beliefs about the gods.) The rational part of the soul only be destroyed by what is bad for X. But (2) does not follow logically from (1). imitate the good part of the soul. Suddenly we have become the grotesque sorts of people we The entire spindle moved together, but there were seven inner circles moving within it, not all at … if anyone could present an argument in their defense. It is widely considered that they have knowledge of all The very lengthy Laws is thought to be Plato’s last composition, since there is generally accepted evidence that it was unrevised at his death. That power is the soul. Now, in Greek this word is used to convey the stewardship that good owners show towards their possessions, or that good administrators exhibit in their areas of responsibility. He is sent to heaven, and made Mayhew is worried because Plato has given us no grounds for inferring, from the observed properties and abilities of embodied souls, the properties and abilities of souls that existed antecedently to the formation of the physical cosmos. The Republic Book 2 Summary & Analysis | LitCharts. Read reviews from world’s largest community for readers. Only those who were I think that this worry betrays a mistaken (but widely shared) assumption about Plato's overall argumentative strategy for showing that the gods exist: to wit, the assumption that Plato's argument is meant to prove the existence of any and all gods that exist. Home : Browse and Comment: Search : Buy Books and CD-ROMs: Help : Laws By Plato Written 360 B.C.E Translated by Benjamin Jowett. on the myth of Er, appeals to the rewards which the just will receive I think he is right in claiming that Plato views impiety primarily as a kind of violent crime against property -- in the first instance, the sacred property of the gods; but certain other especially serious crimes (for example, against the property of parents or magistrates) also count as impiety. Many of its ideas were drawn upon by later political thinkers, from Aristotle and Cicero to Thomas More and Montesquieu. CLEINIAS: Likely enough. sympathizing with those who grieve excessively, who lust inappropriately, who Under the tyranny of erotic love he has permanently become while awake what he used to become occasionally while asleep. Plato "has given us no reason to think that these could not and did not come to be only alongside or after the appearance of certain physical entities -- i.e. in the afterlife. Book IX opens with a long and psychologically insightful description of the tyrannical man. Summary and Analysis Book X: Section I Summary. But the argument of Laws 10 is silent on these matters.). Project Gutenberg ... 66 by Plato; Laws by Plato. It seems to me that the chief weakness in Plato's argument lies not in the inference from (1) to (2), but rather in (c), with the identification of self-motion and life. Socrates has now completed the main argument of The Republic; he has defined justice and shown it to be worthwhile. In general, Saunders' translation is more fluid than Mayhew's, without being significantly less accurate. Download: A text-only version is available for download. In these opening books of Plato's last work, a Cretan, a Spartan, and an Athenian discuss legislative theory, moral psychology, and the criteria for evaluating art. Even to its admirers, the Laws is a turgid and uneven work; Plato's second attempt, late in life, to describe an ideal government lacks much of the philosophical verve of his earlier Republic. Republic; he has defined justice and shown it to be worthwhile. atheism). We might expect at this point some version of the argument from design; but the ground Plato offers for the inference is, curiously, that the motion of these bodies "has the same nature as the motion and revolution and calculations of reason, and proceeds in a related way" (897c). Mayhew's patient analysis pays off in his remarks on another notoriously difficult passage, Laws 903a-905d. He has three reasons for regarding the poets as unwholesome and dangerous. So nothing Log in Register Recommend to librarian Cited by 2; Cited by . The conversation depicted in the work's twelve books begins with the question of who is given the credit for establishing a civilization's laws. (source: Nielsen Book Data) Summary Susan Sauve Meyer presents a new translation of Plato's Laws, 1 and 2. Plato: Laws 10. This approach produces mixed results. BCE-347? But injustice Plato, the great philosopher of Athens, was born in 427 BCE. Three elderly men are walking from Cnossos to the sacred cave and sanctuary of Zeus located on Mount Ida. For example, having argued that all motion in the physical world ultimately derives from soul, Plato goes on to infer that the soul or souls responsible for the world's most important, large-scale motions (those of the celestial bodies) are rational. to the postponed question concerning poetry about human beings. reasons for regarding the poets as unwholesome and dangerous. The law that the poet shall compose nothing which goes beyond the limits of what the State holds to be legal and right, fair and good; nor shall he show [801d] his compositions to any private person until they have first been shown to the judges appointed to deal with these matters, and to the Law-wardens, and have been approved by them. Poetry naturally appeals to the worst parts of souls Millions of books are just a click away on and through our FREE NOOK reading apps. These three men are walking the path that Minos (a legendary lawgiver of Crete) and his father followed every nine years to receive the guidance of Zeus. On the question of chronolo… The character of these motions, Plato thinks, offers positive grounds (as noted above) for the inference that the souls causing them are reasoning beings; this is the inference he relies on to establish the existence of gods. lives. Although it has been neglected (compared to such works as the Republic and Symposium), it is beginning to receive a great deal of scholarly attention. laws is hardly to be expected (compare Republic); and he who makes this reflection may himself adopt the laws just now mentioned, and, adopting them, may order his house and state well and be happy. The volume contains, in addition to a fresh translation of the text, the first extensive commentary on it to appear (in English) in well over a century. The Laws The Relationship Between the Republic and the Laws Magnesia: the New Utopia a. I have no doubt that it will both stimulate new interest in Laws 10 and provide a sturdy foundation for further study of it. and colorful. It seems appropriate to begin with a few words about the translation, which aims to stay extremely close to the original Greek. at all. It offers sustained reflection on the enterprise of legislation, and on its role in the social and religious regulation of society in all its aspects. What Everyone else hurtles between happiness and misery with every cycle. 2. Worse, the images the poets portray do not According to the myth, a warrior named Er is killed the least. 2 LAWS BOOK I. Laws 627d. in this way, they flourish in us when we are dealing with our own In fact, in Laws 10 Plato is uninterested in establishing conclusions about the existence or character of unembodied gods (let alone pre-cosmic gods). Plato was a Greek philosopher known and recognized for having allowed such a considerable philosophical work.. He goes on to offer (897d-898c) a comparison between the motions of the celestial bodies and the "motion of reason," claiming to find a number of similarities. Search for Library Items Search for Lists Search for Contacts Search for a Library. saw on stage or heard about in epic poetry. is most real. Plato's longest dialogue--one of my shortest introductions. He has three Readers looking for a thoughtful companion for a walk through the text, or for help with understanding better a particular passage, will for the most part be in luck. Laws By Plato . Summary. There is, then, an interesting question (whose answer is far from clear) as to how exactly correct theological beliefs are supposed to be foundational to just government as envisioned in the Laws. Such, Plato claims, is the attitude of the gods towards humans. He takes Plato to be reasoning as follows (p. 130): (2) Therefore, every part or aspect or manifestation of soul is older than or prior to every part or aspect or manifestation of body. Mayhew approaches this task with a great deal of patience and good judgment. He claims that Plato commits a logical fallacy in a key part of the argument for god's existence. Check out our revolutionary side-by-side summary and analysis. I will register one particular point of disagreement I have with Mayhew. Laws 625a. Plato's Laws is one of the most important surviving works of ancient Greek political thought. Socrates has now completed the main argument of The ATHENIAN: And do you, Cleinias, believe, as Homer tells, that every nint… is bad for the soul is injustice and other vices. To take an example, Mayhew translates the Greek word epimeleia (and its cognates) as "supervision" (and its cognates) throughout. Summary: Book IX, 571a-580a. PERSONS OF THE DIALOGUE: An Athenian Stranger, Cleinias (a Cretan), Megillus (a Lacedaemonian). It will help first to summarize the chief points of Plato's argument: (a) all motion or change is ultimately due to one or more self-moving entities; so (b) these self-movers, as the originators of all motion and change, are "prior" to entities which are merely moved by other things. He feels the aesthetic sacrifice acutely, is quiet, stable, and not easy to imitate or understand. While it does usefully make the reader aware of where Plato is using the same language in multiple spots, it can also have the effect of obscuring information about the connotations of the words involved which a more flexible, context-sensitive approach to translation might preserve. However, most readers won't be interested in this book primarily for Mayhew's translation, but for his substantial commentary on the text. Earlier in the dialogue, Socrates suggested that certain kinds of music and poetry should not be permitted in the curriculum of study for the future rulers of the State because some art did not seem to be morally uplifting, hence perhaps bad for children. So (d) the first principles of the physical cosmos are souls, in virtue of which self-moving entities move themselves; souls are prior to all bodily, physical entities. Summary ATHENIAN: Our business dealings with one another would come next; they call for regulation, as appropriate. See Important Quotations Explained. and from the third book of the Laws, in what manner Plato would have treated this high argument. This is the situation Robert Mayhew seeks to remedy in his new book, the latest entry in Oxford's Clarendon Plato Series. Viewed from this angle, Laws 10 has suffered from strange neglect at the hands of modern scholars. They are then brought together But Book 10 of the dialogue is an exception. This argument, based having to banish the poets. Mayhew points out, correctly, that in arguing for (1), the most Plato can hope to have shown is that at least one self-mover (and so, one soul) existed prior to the formation of physical bodies; as to whether such a pre-cosmic being possessed (or could have possessed) faculties such as reason or memory, or moral characteristics, no conclusion follows. philosophical while alive, including Orpheus who chooses to be The things they Where Mayhew succeeds most is in his discussion of some of Book 10's thorniest passages. Search. This setting is crucially linked to the theme of the Laws. From this point, Plato goes on to argue that (e) among these self-moving first principles of the cosmos are gods: these will be souls that are guided in their motion by reason (nous). He turns back Plato’s Laws Outline of Book I I. poets, pervert souls, turning them away from the most real toward and other vices obviously do not destroy the soul or tyrants and Mayhew picks his way through the thicket of philological and philosophical issues here with great clarity, offering what may be the best overall discussion of this passage to date. Need help with Book 10 in Plato's The Republic? to watch all that happens there so that he can return to earth and Plato: Laws; Book 12; Plato: Laws. vicariously. And in fact we have judges appointed in those whom we selected to be … Basically, the proof is this: X can Download; Bibrec; Bibliographic Record . 273, line 616b This light holds all of heaven together, building its entire circumstance, stretched from the tips of the spindle of Necessity, through which turn all of heaven's revolutions. The Laws is Plato's last and longest dialogue. Plato’s thought: A philosophy of reason. An exploration of this question would have been a welcome addition to the volume. First, they Laws 626a. Although I have indicated what seem to me to be some shortcomings of this volume, I'd like to end by emphasizing that it is on the whole a clear, useful, and judicious examination of a too-long neglected text. Trevor Saunders, in his 1970 translation, does a better job by translating the word variously (where the context suggests it) as the gods' "supervision" or "control" over, "diligence" or "concern" towards, being "solicitous" or "attentive" to, or showing "care" for human affairs. own life. The Republic Introduction + Context. What Mayhew does not discuss, here or elsewhere, is how the theism Plato argues for in Book 10 as the cure for impiety is more generally related to the rule of law as conceived throughout the Laws. Indeed, since in making his case Plato appeals primarily to facts about the physical world that are in principle observable by anyone, Laws 10 arguably stands at the head of the entire tradition of "natural" theology in the West. In the more exuberantly speculative days of the 19th century, theauthenticity of the Laws was rejected by various figures: eventhe great Platonist, Ast, held that “One who knows the true Platoneeds only to read a single page of the Laws in order toconvince himself that it is a fraudulent Plato that he has beforehim.”[1] Such skepticism is hard to understand,especially since Aristotle refers to the Lawsas a dialogue ofPlato’s in numerous passages and today no serious scholar doubts itsauthenticity. In a surprising move, he banishes poets from the city. Those who are looking for a strong take on how the positions staked out in Laws 10 fit into the dense constellation of views that Plato develops in his late dialogues, or even on what the implications of the theology of Book 10 are for the political theory of the Laws, will be less satisfied. This quality of the commentary is usefully illustrated by Mayhew's remarks on the opening passage of Book 10. What Plato needs to show in order to combat impiety is simply that there exist some gods who care about humans; and to show this, he confines himself to discussing the case of the celestial gods, the souls associated with the celestial bodies. The gist of this vexing passage is that in their unerring circularity and completely steady pace, celestial motions somehow resemble the uniformity, constancy, and regularity of rational thought. Home. It is in the first book of the Laws that the general tone is set and that a view of what is according to nature is introduced as a guiding ... For more detail about the following account see my “‘Reason Striving to Become Law’: Nature and Law in Plato’s Laws,” American Journal of Jurisprudence 54 (2009): 67-91. Laws 10 is thus a key document for understanding the early development of philosophical theology. Book 10 of the Laws contains Plato's fullest defence of the existence of the gods, and his last word on their nature, as well as a presentation and defence of laws against impiety (e.g. in a common area and made to choose their next life, either animal By presenting scenes so far removed from the truth College of Arts and Letters But the enjoyment we feel Good owners are concerned to bring their possessions into a good condition and to preserve them in that condition; good householders will bring domestic affairs into good order and keep them that way. Check out our revolutionary side-by-side summary and analysis. pretend to know all sorts of things, but they really know nothing and not with respect to our own lives. virtue, particularly wisdom. Socrates reemphasizes the importance of the limits placed on poetry in the city in speech. "Supervision" has, I think, a rather thinner meaning; it lacks epimeleia's connotation of concerned attention. Check if you have access via personal or institutional login. Here Plato undertakes to refute certain impious views that he believes to be obstructive to the preservation of good government. ATHENIAN: And therefore let us proceed with our legislation until we have But the point I want to make is that even if the fallacy is indeed there, it is not nearly as damaging to Plato's overall argument as Mayhew makes it out to be. Its musings on the ethics of government and law have established it as a classic of political philosophy alongside Plato's more widely read Republic. Create lists, bibliographies and reviews: or Search WorldCat. Summary. animals and especially humans" (p. 130). Now, (c) self-movers must be alive (that is, they must be ensouled things), because when we say something is alive we mean precisely that it has the power to cause motion or change in itself. other such people would not be able to survive for long. can destroy the soul, and the soul is immortal. [Robert Mayhew; Plato.] In particular, Mayhew tries to render important recurring Greek terms with the same English words wherever they appear. Laws 631c-d. Laws 644e-645b. Use up and down arrows to review and enter to select. So there should be no worry that Plato simply assumes that certain mysterious, unobservable souls could be rational in a way at least somewhat similar to human rationality. The life that they choose will determine whether they and says that he would be happy to allow them back into the city of the soul. These suggestions would need to be fleshed out, of course. Find items in libraries near you. WorldCat Home About WorldCat Help. The Laws is Plato's last and longest dialogue. Poetry corrupts even the best souls. Mayhew suggests that in making this last claim, Plato commits the fallacy of division.

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