Plato's theory of punishment in book IX of Laws

Silvia regina da silva Barros da Cunha


The basis of moral responsibility is the central issue
of Book IX of Laws, where Plato develops his theory of
punishment, conciliating the Socratic thesis that no one is
voluntarily bad (οὐδεὶς ἑκὼν κακός), with the practical necessity
for a gradation of penalties, the latter being derived
from the traditional distinction between voluntary and involuntary
offences. Distinguishing two independent aspects of
crimes – injury (βλάβη) and injustice (ἀδικία) – Plato argues
that the former requires only restitution, whereas injustice
calls for punishment, conceived as a measure to improve the
soul, affected by disordered emotions or ignorance, causes
of injustice.


Plato; Laws; Punishment; Greek Law

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