This book discusses how Plato, one the fiercest legal critics in ancient Greece, became 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. 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.
Praise for Platonic Legislations:
Giorgio Camassa, University of Udine: “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.”
Mirko Canevaro, The University of Edinburgh: “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.”