Review of Metaphysics 48 (2):275 - 298 (1994)

THE TENTH BOOK OF THE LAWS, which contains Plato's last word on cosmology and theology, has often been considered as presenting Plato's views in a more exoteric way in contrast with the more esoteric style of the Timaeus. And there are good reasons to think that this view is correct. Whereas the Timaeus stresses that "to find the maker and father of this All is difficult, and, having found it, it is impossible to communicate it to the crowd", Plato is in Laws 10 intending to establish a "proemium" or rational foundation for his laws against impiety, which are supposed to be known by all. In this proemium Plato tries to argue for three propositions: that the gods exist ; that they take care of human affairs ; that they cannot be bribed by sacrifices or prayers. The underlying assumption is that learning these facts about the gods will also help to prevent impiety which, like any kind of vice, is often due to ignorance.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph1994482138
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Desire and Reason in Plato's Republic.Hendrik Lorenz - 2004 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 27:83-116.
Plato on Characteristics of God: Laws X. 887c5-899d3.Jakub Jirsa - 2008 - Rhizai. A Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science 5:265-285.
Colloquium 6: Psychology and Legislation in Plato’s Laws.Sara Brill - 2011 - Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium of Ancient Philosophy 26 (1):211-251.

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