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On the Value of Drunkenness in the Laws

On the Value of Drunkenness in the Laws Plato’s attitude towards drunkenness (µέθη) is surprisingly positive in the Laws, especially as compared to his negative treatment of intoxication in the Republic. In the Republic, Plato maintains that intoxication causes cowardice and intemperance (3.398e–399e, 3.403e, and 9.571c–573b), while in the Laws, Plato holds that it can produce courage and temperance (1.635b, 1.645d–650a, and 2.665c–672d). This raises the question: Did Plato change his mind, and if he did, why? Ultimately, this paper answers affirmatively and argues that this marks a substantive shift in Plato’s attitude towards anti-rational desires. More precisely, this paper argues that in the Republic, Plato holds that anti-rational desires are always detrimental to health and virtue, while in the Laws, Plato maintains that anti-rational desires can be instrumental to health and virtue. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png History of Philosophy and Logical Analysis Brill

On the Value of Drunkenness in the Laws

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
2666-4283
eISSN
2666-4275
DOI
10.30965/26664275-02001005
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Plato’s attitude towards drunkenness (µέθη) is surprisingly positive in the Laws, especially as compared to his negative treatment of intoxication in the Republic. In the Republic, Plato maintains that intoxication causes cowardice and intemperance (3.398e–399e, 3.403e, and 9.571c–573b), while in the Laws, Plato holds that it can produce courage and temperance (1.635b, 1.645d–650a, and 2.665c–672d). This raises the question: Did Plato change his mind, and if he did, why? Ultimately, this paper answers affirmatively and argues that this marks a substantive shift in Plato’s attitude towards anti-rational desires. More precisely, this paper argues that in the Republic, Plato holds that anti-rational desires are always detrimental to health and virtue, while in the Laws, Plato maintains that anti-rational desires can be instrumental to health and virtue.

Journal

History of Philosophy and Logical AnalysisBrill

Published: Apr 5, 2017

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