By Robert Mayhew
"God or some human-strangers, who is given credit for laying down your laws?" So begins Plato's last and longest dialogue, the Laws. In the Republic, Plato created his ideal political community, wherein philosopher-kings ruled absolutely. Years later, in the Laws, he described in detail what he claimed is the second best city—one ruled not by philosophers but by laws. This course expands one's knowledge of Plato's philosophy through a close look at this neglected work. As one might expect, given the opening line of the dialogue, the main concerns of the Laws are political philosophy and religion—and the connection between the two. Dr. Mayhew pays special attention to Book 10 of the Laws, which contains Plato's arguments for the existence of gods and his account of what a good city ought to do with atheists.
This course was recorded at the 2007 Objectivist Summer Conference in Telluride, CO.
(MP3 download; 4 hrs., 24 min., with Q & A, 181 MB)