By Raphael Arteau McNeil
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Additional resources for An approach to the ''Laws'': The problem of the harmony of the goods in Plato's political philosophy
Euthydemus, 296e3-297a2). 20 well—physical assets take their place: strength, swiftness, and sharpness of sense. Leaving aside the question as to whether these “goods” can serve a bad end or not,14 there is already a problem with regard to the aim of the argument, namely doing less. For if it is true that the coward does less than the courageous person—after all, we go to war, and it is that action of going which matters the most and with a view to which the soldier who flees the battlefield can be said to do less than the one who stands firm and keeps his post15—the same does not hold for the immoderate and the unjust men in comparison to their opposites.
48 of excessive “decorum,” and since enslavement is the absence of political life, there is a necessity for the statesman to interlace these two qualities. At this point we can see the problematical character of the Stranger’s two arguments. We began with two virtues, that is, two goods, which, since they both partake of virtue, are both part of the same thing while being different in look. But we end up with two opposite characters, manliness and decorum, that appear not only to be in opposition to one another but, what is worse, to be not good as such for the city.
39. Cf. Statesman, 268d5-6. 40. It is here that the identification of kingship and statesmanship (cf. 259d3-4) becomes problematic, for if the divine shepherd can be legitimately called a king (cf. 276b6), he can hardly be called a statesman (politikos) since there were no city (polis) under his reign. 41. Cf. Statesman, 275e6-7. , the rule of human beings over human beings. , a comparison between ages and regimes. 42 If the age of Cronus allowed not only for eating and sleeping but also for philosophizing with all the other beasts—then endowed with speech—then human beings living at that time were happier than human beings living now.