Political Office and the Rule of Law in Plato’s Statesman

Political Office and the Rule of Law in Plato’s Statesman The article discusses the relation between political office (archē) and the rule of law in Plato’s dialogue Statesman. Taking its starting-point from an observation about the Statesman’s peculiar approach to constitutional analysis, the article argues that what Plato is concerned to show is how the reconceptualisation of the role of law in government proposed in that dialogue has important implications for what we take the role of the institution of office-holding to be. While Greek political tradition held the main aim of archē to be the formal circumscription and control of official power within a constitutional order, Plato insists that it should primarily be understood as ensuring that the exercise of political power approximates, by means of law, the ideal rule by a political expert. The article ends by pointing out how this reading complements another recent discussion of office-holding in the Statesman. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Polis: The Journal for Ancient Greek Political Thought Brill

Political Office and the Rule of Law in Plato’s Statesman

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0142-257x
eISSN
2051-2996
DOI
10.1163/20512996-12340173
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The article discusses the relation between political office (archē) and the rule of law in Plato’s dialogue Statesman. Taking its starting-point from an observation about the Statesman’s peculiar approach to constitutional analysis, the article argues that what Plato is concerned to show is how the reconceptualisation of the role of law in government proposed in that dialogue has important implications for what we take the role of the institution of office-holding to be. While Greek political tradition held the main aim of archē to be the formal circumscription and control of official power within a constitutional order, Plato insists that it should primarily be understood as ensuring that the exercise of political power approximates, by means of law, the ideal rule by a political expert. The article ends by pointing out how this reading complements another recent discussion of office-holding in the Statesman.

Journal

Polis: The Journal for Ancient Greek Political ThoughtBrill

Published: Sep 17, 2018

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