Persuasion, Compulsion and Freedom in Plato's Laws

Classical Quarterly 41 (02):365- (1991)
Abstract
One of the distinctions that Plato in the Laws stresses most heavily in his discussion of the proper relation between the individual citizen and the laws of the city is that between persuasion and compulsion. Law, Plato believes, should try to persuade rather than compel the citizens. Near the end of the fourth book of the Laws, the Athenian Stranger, Plato's spokesman in this dialogue, asks whether the lawgiver for their new city of Magnesia should in making laws ‘explain straightaway what must and must not be done, add the threat of a penalty, and turn to another law, without adding a single bit of encouragement or persuasion [παραμυθας δ κα πειθος … ν] to his legislative edicts’ . A few lines later, the Athenian Stranger himself condemns such a procedure as ‘the worse and more savage alternative’ . The better method is for the laws themselves to try to persuade the citizens to act in the manner that they prescribe. And as a means of doing this, Plato proposes attaching preludes to particular laws and to the legal code as a whole: such preludes will supplement the sanctions attached to the laws and will aim at persuading the citizens to act in the way that the laws direct for reasons other than fear of the penalties attached to the law. Such a practice, Plato believes, is an innovation: it is something that no lawgiver has ever thought of doing before . And we have no reason to think that Plato is here excluding his earlier self, e.g. the Plato of the Republic and the Politicus, from this criticism
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 13,413
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
R. F. Stalley (1998). Plato's Doctrine of Freedom. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 98 (2):145–158.
Robert N. Audi (1974). Moral Responsibility, Freedom, and Compulsion. American Philosophical Quarterly 11 (January):1-14.
Christopher Bobonich (1994). Akrasia and Agency in Plato's Laws and Republic. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 76 (1):3-36.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-12-09

Total downloads

14 ( #132,052 of 1,689,903 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #183,784 of 1,689,903 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.