Freedom, liberality, and liberty in Plato's laws

Social Philosophy and Policy 24 (2):130-152 (2007)
Abstract
This essay aims at establishing that the word “free” (eleutheros) and related terms are used by Plato in the Laws in two main senses. There is, first, the constitutional meaning of “freedom” which is put to work in book 3 in order to analyze moderately good and degenerate forms of historical constitutions. Strikingly enough, this meaning does not play any subsequent role in the shaping of the Platonic constitution itself—a fact which requires some kind of explanation. There is, then, scattered throughout the work, the behavioral meaning of “freedom” according to which the citizens of Magnesia, who are free in the sense that they are free men, are supposed to behave as such and to be educated accordingly, that is as “gentlemen.” One important aspect here is that a free education will appeal to rationality. The philosophically interesting fact, however, is that there appears to be no intrinsic link for Plato between freedom and rationality, as we might expect on the basis of modern philosophical assumptions whereby freedom is grounded on rationality. Rather, freedom is the condition for exercising rationality, because this exercise takes time. True, there is in the Laws a unique occurrence of yet another conception of “freedom” according to which one is free when one's reason masters one's desires. One might speculate why Plato did not develop this specific conception of freedom, which is in some sense closer to some modern views about liberty, as is shown, for example, from I. Berlin's concept of “positive liberty.” Footnotesa I would like to thank the editors for revising the English of this paper, as well as for a further series of useful suggestions.
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: 11,392
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
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

36 ( #48,931 of 1,102,934 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #183,209 of 1,102,934 )

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.