Ideas from 'The Laws' by Plato [348 BCE], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Complete Works' by Plato (ed/tr Cooper,John M.) [Hackett 1997,0-87220-349-2]].

Click on the Idea Number for the full details    |     back to texts     |     expand these ideas

1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 5. Aims of Philosophy / e. Philosophy as reason
We shouldn't always follow where the argument leads!
2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 1. On Reason
It is foolish to quarrel with the mind's own reasoning processes
2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 4. Aims of Reason
We ought to follow where the argument leads us
3. Truth / A. Truth Problems / 3. Value of Truth
Truth heads the list of all things good, for gods and men alike
16. Persons / B. Nature of the Self / 3. Self as Non-physical
My individuality is my soul, which carries my body around
21. Aesthetics / A. Aesthetic Experience / 4. Beauty
People who value beauty above virtue insult the soul by placing the body above it
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 1. Goodness / g. Consequentialism
An action is only just if it is performed by someone with a just character and outlook
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 1. Goodness / i. Moral luck
Attempted murder is like real murder, but we should respect the luck which avoided total ruin
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 3. Pleasure / c. Value of pleasure
It would be strange if the gods rewarded those who experienced the most pleasure in life
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 3. Pleasure / f. Dangers of pleasure
The conquest of pleasure is the noblest victory of all
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / c. Motivation for virtue
Every crime is the result of excessive self-love
Virtue is a concord of reason and emotion, with pleasure and pain trained to correct ends
A serious desire for moral excellence is very rare indeed
The only worthwhile life is one devoted to physical and moral perfection
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / d. Teaching virtue
Virtue is the aim of all laws
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / j. Unity of virtue
The Guardians must aim to discover the common element in the four cardinal virtues
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 3. Virtues / b. Temperance
Excessive laughter and tears must be avoided
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 3. Virtues / c. Justice
Justice is granting the equality which unequals deserve
Injustice is the mastery of the soul by bad feelings, even if they do not lead to harm
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 4. External Goods / c. Wealth
The best people are produced where there is no excess of wealth or poverty
Virtue and great wealth are quite incompatible
25. Society / B. The State / 5. Leaders / c. Despotism
Totalitarian states destroy friendships and community spirit
25. Society / C. Social Justice / 3. Social Equality / a. Grounds of equality
Men and women should qualify equally for honours on merit
Friendship is impossible between master and slave, even if they are made equal
25. Society / C. Social Justice / 4. Legal Rights / a. Basis of rights
Sound laws achieve the happiness of those who observe them
25. Society / D. Political Doctrines / 7. Communitarianism
Education in virtue produces citizens who are active but obedient
25. Society / E. State Functions / 4. Education / a. Education principles
Children's games should channel their pleasures into adult activity
Control of education is the key office of state, and should go to the best citizen
Mathematics has the widest application of any subject on the curriculum
25. Society / E. State Functions / 4. Education / c. Teaching
Education is channelling a child's feelings into the right course before it understands why
The best way to educate the young is not to rebuke them, but to set a good example
26. Natural Theory / A. Concepts of Nature / 2. Natural Purpose
Creation is not for you; you exist for the sake of creation
27. Natural Reality / G. Cosmology / 2. Beginning
Movement is transmitted through everything, and it must have started with self-generated motion
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 5. Divine Morality / d. God decrees morality
In 'The Laws', to obey the law is to be obey god
28. God / D. Proofs of Evidence / 1. Cosmological Proof
There must be a soul to originate movement, which is presumably the soul that originates good rather than evil
The motion of the sun is from a soul within it, or a soul touching it, or a supernatural force
Self-movers are clearly superior to things moved, so they must initiate all movement
28. God / D. Proofs of Evidence / 2. Teleological Proof
The universe is ordered and moves in perfect circles, showing that a good soul originated it
Soul must be the cause of all the opposites, such as good and evil or beauty and ugliness
28. God / E. Attitudes to God / 4. Atheism
If astronomical movements are seen as necessary instead of by divine will, this leads to atheism