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Virtue and Law in Plato and Beyond$
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Julia Annas

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198755746

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198755746.001.0001

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Virtue in a Framework of Law

Virtue in a Framework of Law

(p.72) 4 Virtue in a Framework of Law
Virtue and Law in Plato and Beyond

Julia Annas

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses how in aiming, as in the Republic, to establish an ideal society where citizens achieve happiness in living virtuously, Plato in the Laws requires of these citizens both strict obedience to their laws and he also requires them to understand their aims, and the value of living in accordance with these aims. Through their character education and the ‘preludes’ to the laws, citizens come to obey the laws in a spirit that promotes the development of virtues, rather than mere rule following. Overall their characters will internalize the priority of virtue to other things in their lives.

Keywords:   virtue, character education, pleasure, law, preludes

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