Platonic Legislations: An Essay on Legal Critique in Ancient Greece

Springer
Free sample

This book discusses how Plato, one the fiercest legal critics in ancient Greece, became – in the longue durée – its most influential legislator. Making use of a vast scholarly literature, and offering original readings of a number of dialogues, it argues that the need for legal critique and the desire for legal permanence set the long arc of Plato’s corpus—from the Apology to the Laws.

Modern philosophers and legal historians have tended to overlook the fact that Plato was the most prolific legislator in ancient Greece. In the pages of his Republic and Laws, he drafted more than 700 statutes. This is more legal material than can be credited to the archetypal Greek legislators—Lycurgus, Draco, and Solon.

The status of Plato’s laws is unique, since he composed them for purely hypothetical cities. And remarkably, he introduced this new genre by writing hard-hitting critiques of the Greek ideal of the sovereignty of law.

Writing in the milieu in which immutable divine law vied for the first time with volatile democratic law, Plato rejected both sources of law, and sought to derive his laws from what he called ‘political technique’ (politikê technê). At the core of this technique is the question of how the idea of justice relates to legal and institutional change.

Filled with sharp observations and bold claims, Platonic Legislations shows that it is possible to see Plato—and our own legal culture—in a new light

In this provocative, intelligent, and elegant work D. L. Dusenbury has posed crucial questions not only as regards Plato’s thought in the making, but also as regards our contemporaneity.”—Giorgio Camassa, University of Udine

There is a tension in Greek law, and in Greek legal thinking, between an understanding of law as unchangeable and authoritative, and a recognition that formal rules are often insufficient for the interpretation of reality, and need to be constantly revised to match it. Dusenbury’s book illuminates the sophistication of Plato’s legal thought in its engagement with this tension, and explores the potential of Plato’s reflection for modern legal theory.”—Mirko Canevaro, The University of Edinburgh

Read more
Collapse

About the author

David Lloyd Dusenbury is a research fellow of the De Wulf-Mansion Centre at the University of Leuven. He is the author of a book on Augustine of Hippo, The Space of Time (2014), and has written scholarly articles on the legal thought of Carl Schmitt and Giorgio Agamben.

Read more
Collapse
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
Springer
Read more
Collapse
Published on
Jun 9, 2017
Read more
Collapse
Pages
116
Read more
Collapse
ISBN
9783319598437
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Language
English
Read more
Collapse
Genres
Law / Jurisprudence
Law / Reference
Literary Criticism / Ancient & Classical
Philosophy / History & Surveys / Ancient & Classical
Philosophy / History & Surveys / General
Philosophy / Political
Philosophy / Reference
Read more
Collapse
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Collapse

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
This book explores a hitherto unexamined possibility of justifiable disobedience opened up by John Rawls’ Law of Peoples. This is the possibility of disobedience justified by appeal to standards of decency that are shared by peoples who do not otherwise share commitments to the same principles of justice, and whose societies are organized according to very different basic social institutions. Justified by appeal to shared decency standards, disobedience by diverse state and non-state actors indeed challenge injustices in the international system of states. The book considers three case studies: disobedience by the undocumented, disobedient challenges to global economic inequities, and the disobedient disclosure of government secrets. It proposes a substantial analytical redefinition of civil disobedience in a global perspective, identifying the creation of global solidarity relations as its goal.

Michael Allen breaks new ground in our understanding of global justice. Traditional views, such as those of Rawls, see justice as a matter of recognizing the moral status of all free and equal person as citizens in a state. Allen argues that this fails to see things from the global perspective. From this perspective disobedience is not merely a matter of social cooperation. Rather, it is a matter of self determination that guarantees the invulnerability of different types of persons and peoples to domination. This makes the disobedience by the undocumented justified, based on the idea that all persons are moral equals, so that all sovereign peoples need to reject dominating forms of social organization for all persons, and not just their own citizens. In an age of mass movements of people, Allen gives us a strong reason to change our practices in treating the undocumented.

James Bohman, St Louis University, Danforth Chair in the Humanities

This monograph is an important contribution to our thinking on civil disobedience and practices of dissent in a globalized world. This is an era where non-violent social movements have had a significant role in challenging the abuse of power in contexts as diverse, yet interrelated as the Arab Spring protests and the Occupy protests. Moreover, while protests such as these speak to a local political horizon, they also have a global footprint, catalyzing a transnational dialogue about global justice, political strategy and cosmopolitan solidarity. Speaking directly to such complexities, Allen makes a compelling case for a global perspective regarding civil disobedience. Anyone interested in how the dynamics of non-violent protest have shaped and reshaped the landscape for democratic engagement in a globalized world will find this book rewarding and insightful.

Vasuki Nesiah, New York University

©2019 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google|Location: United StatesLanguage: English (United States)
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.