Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Grappling With Plato's Laws

Prof. Leiter does seems to have some regard for the new natural law theory (Finnis, Grisez, Boyle, George). He puts Finnis' book on his top 10 books on jurisprudence list (see here). Leiter's top ten rating for Finnis lead me into the world of the new natural law theory. Leiter posed a question involving Finnis to his Jurisprudence students here. The Mark Murphy he mentions in the Finnis question authored the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry The Natural Law Tradition in Ethics.

In Natural Law and Natural Rights, John Finnis (a leading natural law theorist) concludes his book with commentary relating his work with the golden string metaphor from Plato's Laws. Finnis asserts that Plato's Laws constitutes one of the foundational works on natural law as well.
The Laws of Plato translated by A.E. Taylor (1934, reissued 1969)
The Laws by Plato, Trevor J. Saunders (Translator), Richard Stalley (Preface)
(UNL) Notes on the Laws of Plato by Trevor J Saunders
(UNL) The laws of Plato;: The text ed. with introduction, notes, etc. by Edwin B. England
Plato Unmasked: The Dialogues Made New translated by Keith Quincy
(UNL) The Laws of Plato translated by Thomas Pangle
Pangle dedicated his translation to Allan Bloom, and wrote the introduction to Studies in Platonic Political Philosophy by Leo Strauss.
PLATO Laws, Books 1-6 & PLATO Laws, Books 7-12 trans. by R.G. Bury
Laws By Plato trans. by Benjamin Jowett (online)

(UNL) Introduction to Plato's Laws by Richard F. Stalley
(UNL) Plato's Utopia Recast by Chris Bobonich
Plato Complete Works by John M. Cooper
John Cooper and Chris Bobonich endorse each others books.
(UNL) Plato's Cretan City: A Historical Interpretation of the Laws by Glenn Raymond Morrow. Plato's Cretan City was republished in 1993 with a new foreword by Charles H. Kahn who also wrote a review of it in the Journal of the History of Ideas 22 (1961), pp. 418-424.
(UNL) Plato’s Law of Slavery in its Relation to Greek Law by Glenn R. Morrow (republished front matter here)
(UNL) The Platonic Political Art by John R. Wallach (Amazon review by Michael S. Kochin also at Bryn Mawr Classical Review with a response here)
(UNL) Plato's Political Philosophy: Prudence in the Republic and the Laws by Zdravko Planinc
Plato's Laws: From Theory into Practice edited by Samuel Scolnicov. Proceedings from the VI Symposium Platonicum: Jerusalem, 5-10 August 2001 Provisional Programme
(UNL) The Law Most Beautiful and Best: Medical Argument and Magical Rhetoric in Plato's Laws by Randall Baldwin Clark (review here and publisher's description here)
Plato's Laws and its Historical Significance edited by Francisco Lisi ( here) Contributors include Bobonich and Saunders.
(UNL) Divine Motions and Human Emotions in the Philebus and in the Laws by Tapio Nummenmaa (You can read this online)

Books in the Straussian vein:
Secondary Literature on Plato's Laws
(UNL) The Argument and the Action of Plato's Laws by Leo Strauss
(UNL) Plato's Laws by Seth Benardete
Benardete wrote the forward to On Plato's Symposium by Leo Strauss
A Journey into Platonic Politics: Plato's Laws by Albert Keith Whitaker
Whitaker's mentor is Leon Kass. Review of Whitaker's book here and here.
Metaphysics as Rhetoric: Alfarabi’s “Summary of Plato’s Laws” by Joshua S. Parens

After the Ascent: Plato on Becoming Like God on John M. Armstrong's Faculty Profile here. Armstrong writes "Rather than fleeing from the sensible world, becoming like this god commits one to improving it. In the Laws especially, following god requires an effort to unify the city under intelligent law and to educate the citizens in virtue."
Understanding And Individuality In The Three Cities: An Interpretation Of Plato's Laws by Eli Diamond
Persuasion in Plato's Laws
by R.F. Stalley
and The Nocturnal Council and Platonic Political Philosophy by V. Bradley Lewis
both from History of Political Thought
Plato on Utopia by Chris Bobonich
Leo Strauss's Platonism by Neil Robertson
How Joseph de Maistre Read Plato's Laws by Michael S. Kochin
Plato' Laws: Postlude or Prelude to Socratic Political Philosophy? by Catherine H. Zuckert
Oral Preambles and Written Laws: The Dialogical Character of the Laws and Lawfulness by John P. Anton Plato’s Laws and its historical Significance: Selected Papers of the I International Congress on Ancient Thought, Francisco Lisi, ed. (Sankt Augustin: Academia Verlag, 2001).
Platonic Love in a Colorado Courtroom: Martha Nussbaum, John Finnis and Plato's Laws in Evans v. Romer by Randall B. Clark
Origins of the Game Theory of Law and the Limits of Harmony in Plato's Laws by ARTHUR J. JACOBSON
Related Journals:
Many of the aforementioned scholars are affiliated with POLIS in various capacities:
Editorial Board includes: Thomas L. Pangle, Richard F. Stalley, Trevor J. Saunders+, John R. Wallach
Contributors include:
Michael S. Kochin
Ancient Philosophy
Editors of note: Robert S. Brumbaugh (Seung thanked Robert S. Brumbaugh in Plato Rediscovered), Richard Sorabji (see my post on emotional intelligence), Seth Benardete†, Martha Nussbaum, Alan Bloom†
The International Plato Society out of Notre Dame publishes The Internet Journal of the International Plato Society.

Current Research:
Gabriela Carone, University of Colorado, Boulder
RESEARCH TOPIC: Creating Happiness: Luck, Pleasure, and the Excellent Life in Plato's Laws at (see p 2)

Internet Finding's on Plato's Laws:
close parallel between the plan of the Timæus and that of the Laws by Bernard Suzanne

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


The Philosophy of Philanthropy

Charity and Prosperity
Is our country's tradition of doing well by doing good coming to an end?
By Albert Keith Whitaker
brielfy mentions Plato in this article

Political Theory and the Problem of American Poverty
By Sharon Kay Vaughan

Vaughan draws on this source with the following commentary and qoutes on pp. 37-38 of her dissertaion.

Irwin, Terence, “Aristotle’s Defense of Private Property,” in A Companion to Aristotle’s Politics. ed. David Keyt and Fred Miller, Jr. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991): 200-225.

In addition, Irwin makes the point that is easy to suppose that Aristotle leaves room for philanthropy only by slighting the claims of justice.
"Philanthropy requires the philanthropic person (or institution) to have some surplus beyond his or her needs, and requires a beneficiary who is in some way significantly worse off than the benefactor. It is natural to ask whether the inequality between benefactor and beneficiary could not have been removed by some other means, and whether the interests of the beneficiary could not be better served by making him less dependent on the charitable impulses of the benefactor (Irwin 212)."
Finally, Irwin refers to Kant’s point that private property and inequality make philanthropy a possibility. "While philanthropy is better than no philanthropy when inequality exists, Irwin wonders if it would not be best to remove the conditions that make philanthropy desirable (Irwin 212)."

Vaughan also draws on the thought of Immaneul Kant on p. 150 when discussing Nozick.

Metaphysics of Morals
By Immanuel Kant
An excerpt from the section "On the Right of a State with Regard to Perpetual Foundations for its Subjects":
"The general will of the people has united itself into a society which is to maintain itself perpetually; and for this end it has submitted itself to the internal authority of the state in order to maintain those members of the society who are unable to maintain themselves. For reasons of state the government is therefore authorized to constrain the wealthy to provide the means of sustenance to those who are unable to provide for even their most necessary natural needs. The wealthy have acquired an obligation to the commonwealth, since they owe their existence to an act of submitting to its protection and care, which they need in order live; on this obligation the state now bases its right to contribute what is theirs to maintaining their fellow citizens (6:326)."

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?