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Plato's Utopia RecastHis Later Ethics and Politics$
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Christopher Bobonich

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199251438

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199251436.001.0001

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Virtue, Goods, and Happiness in the Laws

Virtue, Goods, and Happiness in the Laws

Chapter:
(p.89) 2 Virtue, Goods, and Happiness in the Laws
Source:
Plato's Utopia Recast
Author(s):

Christopher Bobonich (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199251436.003.0002

The Laws endorses a Dependency Thesis about goods: every good, other than virtue, is good for its possessor only on the condition that its possessor is virtuous. I argue that the Dependency Thesis is supported by the Philebus’ claim that wisdom is the cause of the good life. I show that the Dependency Thesis explains why the Laws holds that the proper ultimate end of the laws is to foster virtue in as many citizens as possible, and holds that the citizens should receive a true ethical account of the basis of the laws that govern them. I show how these goals are advanced by the Laws’ practice of attaching preludes to legislation.

Keywords:   Dependency Thesis, dependent goods, Laws, Philebus, preludes

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