Frisbee Sheffield


Frisbee Sheffield

Title : Philia in Plato’s Laws


Abstract

Just as in virtue ethics we are familiar with the idea that virtue is not just a matter of reliably doing the right thing, but doing it in the right way with the right feelings and desires, so for virtuous citizenship, we do not just engage in co-operative activity, but need to be orientated towards each other’s characters in a certain kind of way, sharing in each other’s aims and goals, in a way that underpins the agreement and co-operation of the community. Whilst eros is the proper orientation to be cultivated towards the ideals of the state, philia – of a certain kind – is the proper orientation to have towards one’s fellow citizens. The role of these affective components has not been lost in the Laws; indeed the society outlined there is an affective community. Or so I shall argue in this paper.

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