Plato on law-abidance and a path to natural law

Julia Annas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In his later depiction of an ideal city, the Laws, Plato does not move from rule by experts to the rule of law, as often claimed, since law is also basic to the Republic. Rather, he now sees educated lawabidance as part of civic virtue: the laws are to be obeyed strictly, but also to be understood so that they are obeyed in the right spirit. Plato introduces original means to encourage this, and is led to make some moves in the direction of what will later be developed by the Stoics as natural law.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-30
Number of pages12
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2018


  • Law
  • Law-abidance
  • Plato
  • Virtue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law


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