Plato's theory of punishment in book IX of Laws

Keywords: Plato, Laws, Punishment, Greek Law

Abstract

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 (ἀδικί́α) – 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.

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Author Biography

Silvia Regina da Silva Barros da Cunha, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro

Filosofia Antiga

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Published
2018-04-17
How to Cite
Barros da CunhaS. R. da S. (2018). Plato’s theory of punishment in book IX of Laws. Archai: The Origins of Western Thought, (23), 45. https://doi.org/10.14195/1984-249X_23_2