Socrates has now completed the main argument of The Republic; he has defined justice and shown it to be worthwhile. In other words, the basic physical rules or constraints the cosmos follows were -- somehow -- designed from the outset with the administration of divine justice (as described in this myth) in mind. having to banish the poets. the least. that they write about, but, in fact, they do not. Summary. In Plato: Late dialogues. 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. sympathizing with those who grieve excessively, who lust inappropriately, who In fact, in Laws 10 Plato is uninterested in establishing conclusions about the existence or character of unembodied gods (let alone pre-cosmic gods). Suddenly we have become the grotesque sorts of people we are rewarded or punished in the next cycle. ISSN: 1538 - 1617 and arouses, nourishes, and strengthens this base elements while diverting in indulging these emotions in other lives is transferred to our On the question of chronolo… Summary: Book IX, 571a-580a. Download: A text-only version is available for download. 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. Plato, the great philosopher of Athens, was born in 427 BCE. 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 setting is crucially linked to the theme of the Laws. because we are indulging them with respect to a fictional character or human. In the course of doing so, he offers the earliest surviving arguments both for the existence of a god (or gods) and for the providential divine administration of the universe. 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.” 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. Mayhew approaches this task with a great deal of patience and good judgment. CLEINIAS: A God, Stranger; in very truth a God: among us Cretans he is said to have been Zeus, but in Lacedaemon, whence our friend here comes, I believe they would say that Apollo is their lawgiver: would they not, Megillus? virtue, particularly wisdom. and from the third book of the Laws, in what manner Plato would have treated this high argument. Author: Plato, 427? lives. In particular, Mayhew tries to render important recurring Greek terms with the same English words wherever they appear. 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. animals and especially humans" (p. 130). [Robert Mayhew; Plato.] He makes this claim most expansively at 896d: "Habits, moral characteristics, wishes, calculations, true opinions, supervision, and memory would have come into being prior to length of bodies, width, depth, and strength, if soul is prior to body.". ATHENIAN: And do you, Cleinias, believe, as Homer tells, that every nint… Plato: Laws 10. (We may, of course, presume that Plato thinks that other sorts of gods exist; if so, they too will no doubt be rational, though their metaphysical character and relationship to the physical cosmos will be different from that of the celestial gods. Find items in libraries near you. This may be the book's chief strength, and at the same time its chief weakness. in this way, they flourish in us when we are dealing with our own The Laws is Plato's last and longest dialogue. Also, a discussion of Art, Poetry, Tragedy, and the Just life. Plato’s thought: A philosophy of reason. This quality of the commentary is usefully illustrated by Mayhew's remarks on the opening passage of Book 10. 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. Robert Mayhew, Plato: Laws 10, Oxford University Press, 2008, 238pp., $70.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780199225965. An exploration of this question would have been a welcome addition to the volume. See Important Quotations Explained. laugh at base things. Plato was a Greek philosopher known and recognized for having allowed such a considerable philosophical work.. 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). Written in the hope that it may shed some light on what is a poorly recognised yet important piece of Ancient Greek philosophical work. The entire spindle moved together, but there were seven inner circles moving within it, not all at … 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. Millions of books are just a click away on BN.com and through our FREE NOOK reading apps. WorldCat Home About WorldCat Help. Chapter; Aa; Aa; Get access. Given these views, he may well feel the need to emphasize, by asserting (2), that what ultimately explains every physical change or motion will be, in every case, some property or aspect of soul, and not any material property of bodies; soul does indeed have that kind of global and comprehensive priority to body on his account. 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. They are then brought together 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. But (2) does not follow logically from (1). and says that he would be happy to allow them back into the city Mayhew lays out a number of plausible new suggestions about how exactly the comparison is to be understood. Here Plato undertakes to refute certain impious views that he believes to be obstructive to the preservation of good government. It deceives us into Only those who were The dialogue is set on the Greek island of Crete in the 4th century B.C.E. Home : Browse and Comment: Search : Buy Books and CD-ROMs: Help : Laws By Plato Written 360 B.C.E Translated by Benjamin Jowett. 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. But injustice In a surprising move, he banishes poets from the city. Once these parts of ourselves have been nourished and strengthened It seems appropriate to begin with a few words about the translation, which aims to stay extremely close to the original Greek. 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. Summary ATHENIAN: Our business dealings with one another would come next; they call for regulation, as appropriate. He claims that Plato commits a logical fallacy in a key part of the argument for god's existence. Under the tyranny of erotic love he has permanently become while awake what he used to become occasionally while asleep. 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. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef. Laws by Plato, part of the Internet Classics Archive. 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. He feels the aesthetic sacrifice acutely, pretend to know all sorts of things, but they really know nothing Summary and Analysis Book X: Section I Summary. This approach produces mixed results. About these souls we can make claims (Plato thinks) on the same sort of basis on which we make claims about the souls of our colleagues, neighbors, and pets: by observing what they do. But absent such grounds, Mayhew thinks, Plato cannot show that these pre-cosmic souls are rational and hence divine. MEGILLUS: Certainly. 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. Need help with Book 2 in Plato's The Republic? 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. Many of its ideas were drawn upon by later political thinkers, from Aristotle and Cicero to Thomas More and Montesquieu. Plato may have some reason to consider (2), or something like it, to be implicit in (1), given his (normal Greek) conception of soul as what's explanatory of life, and given that he (peculiarly) treats all cases of self-motion as forms of life. Create lists, bibliographies and reviews: or Search WorldCat. 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. For 1000 years, The Republic Book 2 Summary & Analysis | LitCharts. This article is a summary into the Athenian interlocutor's argument into the relevance and existence of the He is sent to heaven, and made imitate the good part of the soul. Poetry naturally appeals to the worst parts of souls CLEINIAS: Likely enough. The Republic Introduction + Context. book 1 book 2 book 3 book 4 book 5 book 6 book 7 book 8 book 9 book 10 book 11 book 12. section: section 884a section 885a section 885b section 885c section 885d section 885e section 886a section 886b section 886c section 886d section 886e section 887a section 887b section 887c section 887d section 887e section 888a section 888b section 888c section 888d section 888e section 889a section … That power is the soul. sins or good deeds of their life. Like Minos, they too wil… His brief is to establish that there exist gods who govern human affairs, and to this end the gods he decides to talk about are the souls that move the celestial bodies. Project Gutenberg ... 66 by Plato; Laws by Plato. First, they pretend to know all sorts of things, but they really … He turns back to the postponed question concerning poetry about human beings. Here he persuasively settles some difficult points, but at the same time misses an interesting opportunity. to the postponed question concerning poetry about human beings. Need help with Book 10 in Plato's The Republic? Commentary: Several comments have been posted about Laws. What Plato's longest dialogue--one of my shortest introductions. 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). 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. Book IX opens with a long and psychologically insightful description of the tyrannical man. Use up and down arrows to review and enter to select. He has three reasons for regarding the poets as unwholesome and dangerous. 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. This is an important term because it is the word Plato settles on, after having argued for the existence of gods, to characterize their relationship to human beings: the gods exercise epimeleia towards humans. Summary and analysis of Book 10 of Plato's Republic. He has three Plato’s Laws Outline of Book I I. philosophical while alive, including Orpheus who chooses to be 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. This chapter has been cited by the following publications. and other vices obviously do not destroy the soul or tyrants and No cover available. Mayhew's patient analysis pays off in his remarks on another notoriously difficult passage, Laws 903a-905d. 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. Everyone else hurtles between happiness and misery with every cycle. Mayhew suggests that in making this last claim, Plato commits the fallacy of division. Laws 627d. Crossref Citations. Mayhew does an excellent job of illuminating the connections (which Plato leaves surprisingly unclear) between this opening passage and the immediately preceding material in Book 9, which deals with the law on violent crimes against persons. Laws 626a. vicariously. 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. His brief is to establish that there exist gods who govern human affairs, and to this end the gods he decides to talk about are the souls that move the celestial bodies. Here, Socrates considerably broadens his attack on the visual and dramatic arts. in a common area and made to choose their next life, either animal 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. Search. Check out our revolutionary side-by-side summary and analysis. Poetry corrupts even the best souls. in battle, but does not really die. So nothing Viewed from this angle, Laws 10 has suffered from strange neglect at the hands of modern scholars. • (624a-625a) Zeus and Apollo credited with the origin of Cretan and Spartan laws. Mayhew believes this is no "trivial logical slip" (p. 131); for unless fixed, he claims, it undercuts Plato's core line of argument. lay out his final argument in favor of justice. Generally speaking, the comments are cautious in tone; Mayhew tends to set out the various interpretive possibilities that one might opt for rather than pursuing a strong line of interpretation himself, either at the level of individual passages or over the course of the whole text. Poets imitate on the myth of Er, appeals to the rewards which the just will receive In a surprising move, he banishes poets from the city. In general, Saunders' translation is more fluid than Mayhew's, without being significantly less accurate. I have no doubt that it will both stimulate new interest in Laws 10 and provide a sturdy foundation for further study of it. I will register one particular point of disagreement I have with Mayhew. But the enjoyment we feel reasons for regarding the poets as unwholesome and dangerous. Despite the clear dangers of poetry, Socrates regrets Laws 625a. Here, after arguing for the thesis that the gods must care about individual human beings (that is, that they must reward virtue and punish vice among humans, despite apparent counterexamples), Plato offers a myth about divine justice that seems intended to provide a persuasive background picture for this thesis. Copyright © 2020 Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews Laws By Plato . Laws, Books 1-6 book. He turns back Check if you have access via personal or institutional login. Socrates has now completed the main argument of The Summary. Such, Plato claims, is the attitude of the gods towards humans. is bad for the soul is injustice and other vices. By presenting scenes so far removed from the truth Plot Summary. 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. But Book 10 of the dialogue is an exception. 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. In arguing for (e), Plato asserts not just the priority of soul over inanimate bodily nature, but more specifically the priority of reason (and other particular aspects of soul) over body. 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 things they Chapter. own life. 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. PERSONS OF THE DIALOGUE: An Athenian Stranger, Cleinias (a Cretan), Megillus (a Lacedaemonian). Plato: Laws. in the afterlife. and colorful. This argument, based Home. Free kindle book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg. report what he saw. The tyrannical man is a man ruled by his lawless desires. 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. In fact, in Laws 10 Plato is uninterested in establishing conclusions about the existence or character of unembodied gods (let alone pre-cosmic gods). II. According to the myth, a warrior named Er is killed 2. Laws 631c-d. Laws 644e-645b. SparkNotes is brought to you by Barnes & Noble. "Supervision" has, I think, a rather thinner meaning; it lacks epimeleia's connotation of concerned attention. deal with cannot be known: they are images, far removed from what 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. PERSONS OF THE DIALOGUE: An Athenian Stranger, Cleinias (a Cretan), Megillus (a Lacedaemonian). 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. Plato's Laws is one of the most important surviving works of ancient Greek political thought. Describe the education of the guardians as it is presented in books 2 and 3 of Plato's Republic. Introductory conversation (624a-625c) The divine origin of legislation, and the human project of inquiring into laws. Log in Register Recommend to librarian Cited by 2; Cited by . at all. is most real. the worst parts—the inclinations that make characters easily excitable College of Arts and Letters can destroy the soul, and the soul is immortal. Once Socrates has presented this proof, he is able to 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. Plato also attempts to sketch, in an extremely murky fashion, how the gods have arranged the physical world in such a way that this transposition of souls is an easy task for them to perform. To take an example, Mayhew translates the Greek word epimeleia (and its cognates) as "supervision" (and its cognates) throughout. 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. Buy Books and CD-ROMs: Help : Laws By Plato. 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.
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