An Analysis of Plato's Laws

Topics: Law, Plato, Political philosophy Pages: 4 (1602 words) Published: October 11, 2010
Plato is widely recognized for his apprenticeship with Socrates. Through this relationship Plato has established his rightful place among other philosophers of past and present time. His texts are a constant reflection of Socratic teaching; a style of thinking that allows the reader to gain philosophical truth through abstract thinking. Early Socratic dialogues are classically devoted to investigation of a single issue. Several writings of Plato have received recognition for their thematic scheme. Apology offers an explanation of a philosophical life where Socrates presents his own criminal defense before an Athenian jury of over 500 participants. In Crito you find that Crito uses the circumstances of Socrates's imprisonment to urge him to escape. In response to this Socrates asks whether an individual is ever justified in disobeying the law. Since much of Plato’s work is written in the form of dialogues, with Socrates, it is sometimes not clear where Socrates finishes and Plato begins. Throughout the dialogues Plato utilizes Socrates as a fictional character, where Plato’s own personal views of philosophical issues are developed, expressed, and defended on his own accord. A grandiose example of this would be Laws of Plato where Plato chooses to present his thoughts through other characters, some fictional and others real. This dialogue concerns itself with the development of an attainable form of government through law.

[WHAT IS LAW? WHAT ARE THE DEFINING CHARACTERISTICS OF LAW?] What is law? Certainly, this is a central question posed by Plato himself in Laws. When asking such a question in an ambiguous context it will surely generate several descriptions, subjectively and objectively. When relying on present day sources, law has several definitions. First, as a binding custom or practice of a community; second, a rule of conduct or action prescribed or formally recognized as binding or enforced by a controlling authority; and third, a rule or order that...
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