What is it about?

This article questions a longtime credo concerning Plato’s Laws, namely that the three choruses introduced in Book 2 are institutions of the dialogue’s political project. A detailed analysis of relevant passages shows that the evidence is insufficent. Rather, it is argued, this part of Book 2 is essentially plurivalent: on three separate semantic layers, the choruses illustrate political, moral-psychological and key educational issues of the Laws. Apart from explaining the disappearance of the choruses after Book 2, the proposed reading aims to bring to light an impressively artful philosophical and literary strategy of Plato’s.

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Why is it important?

The literary structure of Plato's Laws, and particularly the role in the remainder of the dialogue of the three choruses introduced in Book 2, has never been convincingly explained. The text offers a novel solution to the problem, showing Plato's literary and philosophical artifice.

Perspectives

This article presents the results of my thesis that are most important to me. I hope it will contribute to our understanding of Plato's Laws, and to our admiration for this still understudied dialogue.

Julia Pfefferkorn

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This page is a summary of: The Three Choruses of Plato’s Laws and their Function in the Dialogue, Phronesis, July 2021, Brill, DOI: 10.1163/15685284-bja10047.
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