Virtue, Goods, and Happiness in the Laws

Christopher Bobonich

in Plato's Utopia Recast

Published in print July 2002 | ISBN: 9780199251438
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597084 | DOI:
 Virtue, Goods, and Happiness in the  Laws

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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

Chapter.  54357 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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