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Plato's Doctrine of Freedom

R. F. Stalley
Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society
New Series, Vol. 98 (1998), pp. 145-158
Published by: Wiley on behalf of The Aristotelian Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4545279
Page Count: 14
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Plato's Doctrine of Freedom
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Abstract

The idea of freedom plays a key role in Plato's moral and political thought. In the Republic justice is shown to be beneficial because the just man alone is truly free. There are parallels here with modern discussions of freedom. The Laws argues that to be free a city must avoid the extremes of liberty and of authoritarianism. The legislator should rely on persuasion, not force, so that people willingly obey his laws. The underlying idea is that we are free if we willingly follow the demands of reason rather than being coerced by external forces or by unruly desires.

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