See Important Quotations Explained. No cover available. poets, pervert souls, turning them away from the most real toward Search for Library Items Search for Lists Search for Contacts Search for a Library. In a surprising move, he banishes poets from the city. He has three reasons for regarding the poets as unwholesome and dangerous. Mayhew believes this is no "trivial logical slip" (p. 131); for unless fixed, he claims, it undercuts Plato's core line of argument. Check if you have access via personal or institutional login. As these men trace Minos’ steps, they seek to discover what the best political system and laws are. laugh at base things. 2 LAWS BOOK I. 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. But Book 10 of the dialogue is an exception. This may be the book's chief strength, and at the same time its chief weakness. • (624a-625a) Zeus and Apollo credited with the origin of Cretan and Spartan laws. and arouses, nourishes, and strengthens this base elements while diverting ATHENIAN: Tell me, Strangers, is a God or some man supposed to be the author of your laws? Here Plato undertakes to refute certain impious views that he believes to be obstructive to the preservation of good government. 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. Once Socrates has presented this proof, he is able to Plato’s Laws Outline of Book I I. Copyright © 2020 Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews It develops laws to govern a projected state and is apparently meant to be practical in a way that … Crossref Citations. 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. and colorful. Laws by Plato, part of the Internet Classics Archive. Home. Chapter. But injustice This chapter has been cited by the following publications. Laws, Books 1-6 book. 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. 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. Laws 626a. Summary: Book IX, 571a-580a. sympathizing with those who grieve excessively, who lust inappropriately, who of the soul. ISSN: 1538 - 1617 In a surprising move, he banishes poets from the city. 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. 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. 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. The Laws, Plato's longest dialogue, has for centuries been recognized as the most comprehensive exposition of the practical consequences of his philosophy, a necessary corrective to the more visionary and utopian Republic.In this animated encounter between a foreign philosopher and a powerful statesman, not only do we see reflected, in Plato's own thought, eternal questio For 1000 years, people are either rewarded in heaven or punished in hell for the Mayhew lays out a number of plausible new suggestions about how exactly the comparison is to be understood. Mayhew suggests that in making this last claim, Plato commits the fallacy of division. Suddenly we have become the grotesque sorts of people we 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. 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. But absent such grounds, Mayhew thinks, Plato cannot show that these pre-cosmic souls are rational and hence divine. 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. First, they the worst parts—the inclinations that make characters easily excitable He observes an eschatalogical system which rewards I will register one particular point of disagreement I have with Mayhew. Buy Books and CD-ROMs: Help : Laws By Plato. 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. saw on stage or heard about in epic poetry. lives. other such people would not be able to survive for long. Laws By Plato . "Supervision" has, I think, a rather thinner meaning; it lacks epimeleia's connotation of concerned attention. So nothing It is widely considered that they have knowledge of all 2. can destroy the soul, and the soul is immortal. ATHENIAN: Tell me, Strangers, is a God or some man supposed to be the author of your laws? 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. 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. 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. [Robert Mayhew; Plato.] Use up and down arrows to review and enter to select. Poetry naturally appeals to the worst parts of souls But (2) does not follow logically from (1). This approach produces mixed results. Plato's longest dialogue--one of my shortest introductions. 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. that they write about, but, in fact, they do not. Republic; he has defined justice and shown it to be worthwhile. Plato's Laws is one of the most important surviving works of ancient Greek political thought. vicariously. The Laws is Plato's last and longest dialogue. 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. ATHENIAN: And therefore let us proceed with our legislation until we have Socrates has now completed the main argument of The Republic; he has defined justice and shown it to be worthwhile. (source: Nielsen Book Data) Summary Susan Sauve Meyer presents a new translation of Plato's Laws, 1 and 2. PERSONS OF THE DIALOGUE: An Athenian Stranger, Cleinias (a Cretan), Megillus (a Lacedaemonian). Where Mayhew succeeds most is in his discussion of some of Book 10's thorniest passages. (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.) Once these parts of ourselves have been nourished and strengthened 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. Only those who were to watch all that happens there so that he can return to earth and By presenting scenes so far removed from the truth Free kindle book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg. (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. 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 MEGILLUS: Certainly. • (625a-c) A discussion of “constitutions and laws” proposed to fill the journey to the sacred cave of Zeus. lay out his final argument in favor of justice. pretend to know all sorts of things, but they really know nothing ATHENIAN: And do you, Cleinias, believe, as Homer tells, that every nint… Basically, the proof is this: X can Mayhew approaches this task with a great deal of patience and good judgment. Many of its ideas were drawn upon by later political thinkers, from Aristotle and Cicero to Thomas More and Montesquieu. The Republic Introduction + Context. 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. Describe the education of the guardians as it is presented in books 2 and 3 of Plato's Republic. Written in the hope that it may shed some light on what is a poorly recognised yet important piece of Ancient Greek philosophical work. 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. Worse, the images the poets portray do not 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. 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. Millions of books are just a click away on BN.com and through our FREE NOOK reading apps. 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. Reviewed by Nathan Powers, The University at Albany (SUNY). Mayhew's patient analysis pays off in his remarks on another notoriously difficult passage, Laws 903a-905d. In fact, in Laws 10 Plato is uninterested in establishing conclusions about the existence or character of unembodied gods (let alone pre-cosmic gods). 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. 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. 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. Summary ATHENIAN: Our business dealings with one another would come next; they call for regulation, as appropriate. are rewarded or punished in the next cycle. And in fact we have judges appointed in those whom we selected to be … having to banish the poets. In Plato: Late dialogues. BCE-347? Home : Browse and Comment: Search : Buy Books and CD-ROMs: Help : Laws By Plato Written 360 B.C.E Translated by Benjamin Jowett. I have no doubt that it will both stimulate new interest in Laws 10 and provide a sturdy foundation for further study of it. He turns back to the postponed question concerning poetry about human beings. in battle, but does not really die. It seems appropriate to begin with a few words about the translation, which aims to stay extremely close to the original Greek. 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. In particular, Mayhew tries to render important recurring Greek terms with the same English words wherever they appear. and other vices obviously do not destroy the soul or tyrants and 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. II. because we are indulging them with respect to a fictional character the least. 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 … Chapter; Aa; Aa; Get access. 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. Commentary: Several comments have been posted about Laws. The tyrannical man is a man ruled by his lawless desires. 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. Plato, the great philosopher of Athens, was born in 427 BCE. The reason he wants to talk about these particular gods is precisely that they can be observed -- or more precisely, their orderly, circular motions can be observed. This article is a summary into the Athenian interlocutor's argument into the relevance and existence of the Viewed from this angle, Laws 10 has suffered from strange neglect at the hands of modern scholars. is bad for the soul is injustice and other vices. atheism). reasons for regarding the poets as unwholesome and dangerous. Socrates reemphasizes the importance of the limits placed on poetry in the city in speech. 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). energy from the rational part. Here he persuasively settles some difficult points, but at the same time misses an interesting opportunity. 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. In fact, in Laws 10 Plato is uninterested in establishing conclusions about the existence or character of unembodied gods (let alone pre-cosmic gods). in the afterlife. Search. 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? We think there is no shame in indulging these emotions 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.". 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. at all. 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). Here, Socrates considerably broadens his attack on the visual and dramatic arts. Plot Summary. WorldCat Home About WorldCat Help. Create lists, bibliographies and reviews: or Search WorldCat. To take an example, Mayhew translates the Greek word epimeleia (and its cognates) as "supervision" (and its cognates) throughout. This setting is crucially linked to the theme of the Laws. Accessibility Information. Poetry corrupts even the best souls. Summary and analysis of Book 10 of Plato's 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. Despite the clear dangers of poetry, Socrates regrets and says that he would be happy to allow them back into the city SparkNotes is brought to you by Barnes & Noble. report what he saw. 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 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. Like Minos, they too wil… Socrates then outlines a brief proof for the immortality and not with respect to our own lives. 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. Despite the caveats that I shall express below, this is a book that anyone seriously interested in Plato's Laws will want to consult. 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 turns back Project Gutenberg ... 66 by Plato; Laws by Plato. But the argument of Laws 10 is silent on these matters.). The Laws The Relationship Between the Republic and the Laws Magnesia: the New Utopia a. Laws 631c-d. Laws 644e-645b. Socrates has now completed the main argument of The Plato: Laws 10. Summary. Such, Plato claims, is the attitude of the gods towards humans. The entire spindle moved together, but there were seven inner circles moving within it, not all at … It deceives us into 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. The dialogue is set on the Greek island of Crete in the 4th century B.C.E. The things they Poets imitate Under the tyranny of erotic love he has permanently become while awake what he used to become occasionally while asleep. Read reviews from world’s largest community for readers. in indulging these emotions in other lives is transferred to our Check out our revolutionary side-by-side summary and analysis. Everyone else hurtles between happiness and misery with every cycle. Log in Register Recommend to librarian Cited by 2; Cited by . Summary and Analysis Book X: Section I Summary. Author: Plato, 427? 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. on the myth of Er, appeals to the rewards which the just will receive PERSONS OF THE DIALOGUE: An Athenian Stranger, Cleinias (a Cretan), Megillus (a Lacedaemonian). 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. It even goads us into feeling these base emotions Need help with Book 10 in Plato's The Republic? Book 10, pg. 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: Laws; Book 12; Plato: Laws. if anyone could present an argument in their defense. College of Arts and Letters The reason he wants to talk about these particular gods is precisely that they can be observed … 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. CLEINIAS: Likely enough. He has three That power is the soul. Plato’s thought: A philosophy of reason. But the enjoyment we feel 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. He claims that Plato commits a logical fallacy in a key part of the argument for god's existence. The Laws is Plato's last and longest dialogue. Robert Mayhew, Plato: Laws 10, Oxford University Press, 2008, 238pp., $70.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780199225965. 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. 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. This quality of the commentary is usefully illustrated by Mayhew's remarks on the opening passage of Book 10. Roughly, the picture is this: after death, human souls are relocated to destinations befitting the character they have acquired during the course of their lives. On the question of chronolo… In the passage Plato states the need for a special law against impiety. In general, Saunders' translation is more fluid than Mayhew's, without being significantly less accurate. or human. 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