Education, Conflict and Harmony in Book 1 of Plato’s Laws

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.11606/issn.1981-9471.v15i2p29-52

Keywords:

Plato, Leges, education, conflict

Abstract

Book 1 of Plato’s Laws, and particularly the image of the puppet introduced near its end, has been traditionally interpreted as presenting the moral psychology model that underlies the educational system delineated by the Athenian Stranger, which construes virtue as consonance between the non–rational and the rational elements of the soul. But a different and competing conception of virtue looms large in Laws 1, virtue as victory of the best part of the soul in psychic conflict. This paper argues that the Athenian’s conception of education as the correct conformation of originally conflicting psychic forces requires the simultaneous presence of the harmony and the conflict models of virtue in Laws 1. Education is in turn defined by calculation, the rational activity which persuasively leads the conflicting non–rational forces towards a consonant reciprocal rapport. By strategically developing his understanding of education and calculation in Laws 1, the Athenian shows how the harmony model of virtue overcomes the conflict model, while at the same time recognising that there is some truth to the conflict model after all and integrating it within the harmony model.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Annas, J. Virtue and law in Plato and Beyond (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017).

Belfiore, E. ‘Wine and the Catharsis of Emotions in Plato’s Laws’, Classical Quarterly 36/2 (1986) 421–37.

Bobonich, C. Plato’s Utopia Recast: His Later Ethics and Politics (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2002).

Folch, M. The City and the Stage: Performance, Genre, and Gender in Plato’s Laws (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015).

Fossheim, H. ‘The Prooimia, Types of Motivation, and Moral Psychology’, in C. Horn, comp., Platon: Gesetze – Nomoi (Sankt Agustin: Academia Verlag, 2013) 87–104.

Frede, D. ‘Puppets on strings: Moral Psychology in Laws Books 1 and 2’, in C. Bobonich, ed., Plato’s Laws: A Critical Guide (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010) 108–26.

Gaudin, C. ‘Humanisation de la Marionette. Plat. Leg. I 644c–645d; VII 803c–804c’, Elenchos 23 (2002) 271–95.

Gerson, L. Knowing Persons: A Study in Plato (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003) 265–70.

Giménez Salinas, J. A. ‘La psicología moral de la marioneta. Conflicto y acuerdo en las Leyes de Platón’, Ideas y Valores 68.171 (2019) 137–159.

Griffith, T. trans., and M. Schofield, ed., Plato: The Laws (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016).

Jorgenson, C. The Embodied Soul in Plato’s Later Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018).

Jouët–Pastré, E. Le jeu et le sérieux dans les Lois de Platon (Sankt Augustin: Academia Verlag, 2006).

Kahn, C. ‘From Republic to Laws. A Discussion of Christopher Bobonich, Plato’s Utopia Recast’, Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 26 (2004) 337–62.

Klosko, G. The Development of Plato’s Political Theory (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006).

Kurke, L. ‘Imagining chorality: wonder, Plato’s puppets, and moving statues’, in A. Peponi, ed., Performance and Culture in Plato’s Laws (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013) 123–70.

Nightingale, A. ‘Plato’s lawcode in context: rule by written law in Athens and Magnesia’, Classical Quarterly 49 (1999) 100–22.

Pangle, T. The Laws of Plato (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988).

Pfefferkorn, J. ‘Shame and Virtue in Plato’s Laws: Two Kinds of Fear and the Drunken Puppet’, in L. Candiotto and O. Renault, eds., Emotions in Plato (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2020) 252–269.

Sassi, M. ‘The Self, the Soul and the Individual in the city of the Laws’, Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 35 (2008) 125–48.

Sauvé–Meyer, S. ‘Review of Griffith and Schofield 2016’, Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2018.03.49.

Sauvé–Meyer, S. ‘Self–Mastery and Self–Rule in Plato’s Laws’, in D. Brink, S. Sauvé–Meyer, and C. Shields, eds., Virtue, Happiness, Knowledge: Themes from the Work of Gail Fine and Terence Irwin (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018) 97–109.

Sauvé–Meyer, S. trans. and comm., Plato’s Laws 1 and 2 (Oxford: Clarendon Plato Series, 2015).

Schofield, M. ‘Plato’s Marionette’, Rhizomata 4/2 (2016) 128–53.

Schofield, M. ‘The Laws’ Two Projects’, in C. Bobonich, ed., Plato’s Laws: A Critical Guide (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010) 12–28.

Wilburn, J. ‘Akrasia and Self–Rule in Plato’s Laws’, Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 43 (2012) 25–53.

Zuckert, C. Plato’s Philosophers: The Coherence of the Dialogues (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009).

Downloads

Published

2021-10-14

How to Cite

Rincón, D. G. (2021). Education, Conflict and Harmony in Book 1 of Plato’s Laws. Journal of Ancient Philosophy, 15(2), 29-52. https://doi.org/10.11606/issn.1981-9471.v15i2p29-52

Issue

Section

Articles