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    Asmis, Elizabeth 2015. A Companion to Ancient Aesthetics. p. 486.

    Cusher, Brent Edwin 2014. How Does Law Rule? Plato on Habit, Political Education, and Legislation. The Journal of Politics, Vol. 76, Issue. 4, p. 1032.

    Lane, Melissa 2012. A Companion to Ancient Philosophy. p. 170.

    Provencal, Vernon 2005. Glukus Himeros. Journal of Homosexuality, Vol. 49, Issue. 3-4, p. 87.

  • Print publication year: 2000
  • Online publication date: March 2008

12 - The Laws

The Laws can be considered the first work of genuine political philosophy in the Western tradition. This chapter discusses the structure and content of the Laws. The interpretation of the Laws depends crucially on its relation to Plato's two great political dialogues, the Republic and the Politicus. How is this relation to be understood? The Laws accomplishes three things in a single stroke. It completes a programme which had been sketched in the two preceding works; it revises the model of the state which they had drawn; and finally it portrays a practical realization of that model. In the Laws as in the Republic, man is a complex unity in whom rational and irrational elements coexist. The polarity between control and compromise in the field of political institutions relates to a larger question, that of the limits of education, taken in the restricted sense given to this term in Book 1.
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