Plato's Laws

Plato's Laws

Force and Truth in Politics
Edited by Gregory Recco and Eric Sanday
Distribution: World
Publication date: 1/28/2013
ISBN: 978-0-253-00188-7
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Readers of Plato have often neglected the Laws because of its length and density. In this set of interpretive essays, notable scholars of the Laws from the fields of classics, history, philosophy, and political science offer a collective close reading of the dialogue "book by book" and reflect on the work as a whole. In their introduction, editors Gregory Recco and Eric Sanday explore the connections among the essays and the dramatic and productive exchanges between the contributors. This volume fills a major gap in studies on Plato’s dialogues by addressing the cultural and historical context of the Laws and highlighting their importance to contemporary scholarship.

Author Bio

Gregory Recco is a tutor at St. John's College in Annapolis.

Eric Sanday is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Kentucky.


"A diverse set of intelligent and original essays on the Laws featuring some of the best names in American scholarship." —Marina McCoy, Boston College

"An outstanding collection . . . that will inspire others . . . to begin to take the
Laws as seriously as they should." —Drew A. Hyland, Trinity College

"[T]he collection [is] interesting and thought provoking. In particular, it draws attention to sections of the dialogue that are easily overlooked and usefully highlights the role of contingent factors in Plato’s political thought." —
International Journal of the Platonic Tradition

"The collection as a whole is characterized by a significant degree of cohesion . . . The contributors engage with one another's arguments, and there are frequent cross-references that help the reader follow the nuances of relevant scholarly debates." —Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

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Table of Contents

1. On Reading the
Laws as a Whole: Horizon, Vision, and Structure
Mitchell Miller
2. 'Eρως and the
Laws in Historical Context
Mark Munn
3. The Long and Winding Road: Impediments to Inquiry in Book One of the
Eric Salem
4. Education in Plato’s
John Russon
5. On Beginning after the Beginning
John Sallis
6. It is Difficult for a City with Good Laws to Come into Existence: On Book 4
Michael Zuckert
7. “He Saw the Cities and He Knew the Minds of Many Men”: Landscape and Character in the
Odyssey and the Laws
Patricia Fagan
8. On the Human and the Divine: Reading the Prelude in Plato’s
Laws 5
Robert Metcalf
9. Being True to Equality: Human Allotment and the Judgment of Zeus
Greg Recco
10. The ‘Serious Play’ of Book 7 of Plato’s
David Roochnik
11. No Country for Young Men: Eros as Outlaw in Plato’s
Francisco Gonzalez
12. On the Implications of Human Mortality: Legislation, Education, and Philosophy in Book 9 of Plato’s
Catherine Zuckert
13. ‘A Soul Superlatively Natural’: Psychic Excess in
Laws 10
Sara Brill
14. Property and Impiety in Plato’s
Laws: Books 11 & 12
Eric Sanday
List of Contributors