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Title: Neither Rule of Man nor Rule of Law—A Rationalist Reading of Plato’s Legal Philosophy
Authors: 謝坤龍
Hsieh, Kun Lung
Contributors: 法律博二
Keywords: the Republic, the Laws, the Statesman, Plato’s legal philosophy
Date: 2018
Issue Date: 2019-12-04 14:47:20 (UTC+8)
Abstract: Numerous previous studies argue that Plato’s legal philosophy is equivocal, since he seemed to either advocate the rule of man in the Republic, or defend the rule of law in the Laws. In this paper, I label these readings as “traditional” and will show that the textual evidence provided by studies based on these readings remains insufficient to support their arguments. Based on the sketching of main arguments in the Republic, the Statesman, and the Laws, I argue that Plato develops a dialectic criticism to both the rule of man and the rule of law and that he furthermore proposes a rule of rationality. I demonstrate that a rationalist reading suggests that the ruler shall not be legitimate without rationality, and that it consequently helps to avoid the traditional readings’ bias by incorporating the Republic, the Statesman and the Laws into one whole for an improved understanding Plato’s legal philosophy.
Relation: The 11th East Asian Conference on Philosophy of Law, Centre for Chinese Law, Faculty of Law, The University of Hong Kong
Data Type: conference
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