Virtue ethics, politics, and the function of laws: The parent analogy in Plato's menexenus

Dialogue 46 (2):211-230 (2007)
Abstract
Can virtue ethics say anything worthwhile about laws? What would a virtue-ethical account of good laws look like? I argue that a plausible answer to that question can be found in Plato’s parent analogies in the Crito and the Menexenus. I go on to show that the Menexenus gives us a philosophical argument to the effect that laws are just only if they enable citizens to flourish. I then argue that the resulting virtue-ethical account ofjust laws is not viciously paternalistic. Finally, I refute the objection that the virtue-ethical account I am proposing is not distinct from a consequentialist account.Peut-on construire une théorie de la loi à partir de l’éthique de la vertu? Qu’est ce qu’une bonne loi? Je dis que l’on trouvera une réponse à la question dans l’analogie entre les lois et les parents présentée par Platon dans le Criton et le Ménéxène. Dans §2, je montre que le Ménéxène apporte une défense philosophique de l’argument que les lois sont bonne seulement si elles amènent les citoyens a la vertu.Dans §3, je montre que celte théorie des lois selon la vertu n’est pas outre mesure paternaliste. Dans la dernière section, je réponds a l’objection suivante : que la théorie que je défend n’est ni plus ni moins qu’une théorie conséquentialiste
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References found in this work BETA
Julia Annas (2005). Virtue Ethics: What Kind of Naturalism? In Stephen Mark Gardiner (ed.), Virtue Ethics, Old and New. Cornell University Press. 11--29.
Julia Annas (2005). Wickedness as Psychological Breakdown. Southern Journal of Philosophy 43 (S1):1-19.
Joseph Chan (2000). Legitimacy, Unanimity, and Perfectionism. Philosophy and Public Affairs 29 (1):5–42.
Philippa Foot (1997). Virtues and Vices. In Daniel Statman (ed.), Virtue Ethics. Georgetown University Press. 163--177.

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