Customer Reviews


 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing work of senescence rather than maturity
But - many fascinating insights from this neglected last of Plato's texts - which is repetitive, and sometimes lunatic. It consists of the first attempt in the Western World to set out in detail a set of laws. Plato's distopian theocracy attempts to capture the most trivial details of people's lives - exactly when, for example they may harvest grapes for keeping (after...
Published on 23 Feb. 2013 by Algypop

versus
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars difficult
I have been trying to familiarise myself with some of the classics, thinkers, philosophers and great writers of our time. So I thought I would give this a try to see what it was about. Unfortunately I wasn't ready for this book. It isn't something for a novice literary lay person like myself. To be honest I had no idea what to expect and initially I thought it was a...
Published 14 months ago by SBno1


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing work of senescence rather than maturity, 23 Feb. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Laws (Kindle Edition)
But - many fascinating insights from this neglected last of Plato's texts - which is repetitive, and sometimes lunatic. It consists of the first attempt in the Western World to set out in detail a set of laws. Plato's distopian theocracy attempts to capture the most trivial details of people's lives - exactly when, for example they may harvest grapes for keeping (after the rising of Arcturus), but his system however eccentric captures many intimate details of the customs and lives of the period. I like one particular law which it would serve us well to adopt - that at the conclusion of a civil case, the judge should attempt to reconcile the parties. Amusingly, secret scrumping is to be lawful - provided the culprit is not caught. Laws is more specific than The Republic - and even more despotic. A notable feature is an exposition of Plato's religious views. His gods are not Homeric and anthropomorphic, but omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. There are even hints of monotheism - of the Judaeo-Christian G-d. The work contains a version of the cosmological argument for the existence of G-d. The proposed laws in relation to slaves are notable for their brutality, and imply accepted mores which should correct uncritical admiration for the society of this period. It was useful to read this text concurrently with Xenophon's Memorabilia (recollections of Socrates,) thus juxtaposing the views of Socrates as independently recalled, and those of his pupil and publicist. I give the book 4 stars not for its intrinsic merit, but for its interest as an historical text.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laying down the law..., 21 Dec. 2005
By 
Kurt Messick "FrKurt Messick" (London, SW1) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
When one thinks of Plato and his ideas of politics, one naturally gravitates toward his best-known work, the Republic. In that book, Plato set up the ideal city-state, with classes born and bred to specific functions and roles in society, and a sense of philosophical outlook consistent across the board. However, such a society was unlikely to be brought out, in Plato's time and, as it turned out, in any other.
Plato tried at different times to persuade rulers to become his envisioned philosopher-king; the last attempt was with a tyrant of Syracuse, who in the end imprisoned Plato rather than following his directions. Plato wrote this work, 'The Laws', as the last of his dialogues. Its difference from the Republic is immediately apparent in the absence of Socrates as a character - Plato at the end of his life has finally taken to working in his own right and not through a proxy.
Just looking at the contents will show the breadth of this work - it involves practically every aspect of civil society: legislative bodies (and Plato has some scathing commentaries on some that he has known); education and its proper role and method (including even drinking parties as part of the educational process); ideas of monarchy, democracy, and the balance of power (some American constitutional ideas were generated from a reading (and occasional misreading) of this work); civil administration; arts and sciences; military and sports training; sexual conduct; economics; criminal law, torts, and judicial process; religion and theology; civil law, property and family law; Plato even argues for the need of a 'nocturnal council', one that delves not only into the practical aspects of the law, but also their philosophical bases.
According to translator and editor Trevor Saunders, 'The reader of the Republic who picks up the Laws is likely to have difficulty in believing that the same person wrote both.' Saunders speculates that Plato in his older years changed from optimism to pessimism, from idealism to realism, but that this is not all there is to the assumption, because in actual fact the transition from the Republic to the Laws involves transitioning unattainable ideals to attainable realities.
Plato describes the construction of a utopian society in great detail, down to the number of citizens permitted to live in the city (5040) and the length of time foreigners might reside in the city (20 years). This shows that Plato considers politics to be an exact science (indeed, despite the inclusion of the 'nocturnal council', he did see his system of laws being essentially unalterable through history). Plato is not averse to the use of force and coercion to set up and maintain the utopian society. Finally, Plato sees a self-contained kind of society that is likely to become xenophobic to the extreme, with less tolerance toward its own citizens than toward those foreigners permitted to live and work in the city. Indeed, for the virtuous citizens to be free to pursue their virtue, the majority of the manual work and crafts must be done by a worker class composed of slaves or immigrant workers, or both.
Plato's Laws suffer from much greater criticism in the modern world than the Republic, in part because it is a more 'realistic' work, with a reality that no longer applies. However, many of his insights are worthwhile, and the overall structure of his society reflected in the Laws is worth discussion as much as is that of the Republic. One of the problems with this work vis-a-vis the Republic is its length (the Laws is considerable longer); another problem is that it lacks the dramatic reading possible from the Republic, rather the difference between a political debate and a legal seminar. Still, it is an important work, showing how Plato's thought had shifted in his lifetime.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars difficult, 7 May 2014
By 
SBno1 - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have been trying to familiarise myself with some of the classics, thinkers, philosophers and great writers of our time. So I thought I would give this a try to see what it was about. Unfortunately I wasn't ready for this book. It isn't something for a novice literary lay person like myself. To be honest I had no idea what to expect and initially I thought it was a reading book of sorts, so straight away I showed my ignorance. This is more about an education in old law which no doubt has shaped our modern legislature. I'll have to revisit this, but for now it is way over my head.

However, I would recommend it if you are trying to broaden your horizons or even if you are tuned to the subject - the e-book costs nothing and so you have nothing to lose. Download it, give it a go and thanks to those who have made it free. It is well written, not difficult to read in terms of wording and the conversion to e-book is very good with no split sentences etc.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars, 24 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Laws (Kindle Edition)
Boring not what was exspected
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars The Laws (Penguin Classics), 4 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Laws (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
good to research plato
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 27 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Excellent purchase
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars It's a book., 7 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Laws (Kindle Edition)
It's a book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Good reading, 11 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Laws (Kindle Edition)
great book
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Be careful, 4 Sept. 2012
By 
S. leonard (China) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Laws of Plato (Paperback)
This edition is the translation by Jowett. This is not identified in the book itself or on the details here at Amazon. There are no notes or an introduction just the Jowett translation. Not worth the money.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


18 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great stuff!, 4 Feb. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Laws (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
should be required reading for EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!!
especially all MP's!!!!
this has turned me full circle.
when i first came to europe and then the UK, i thought the monarchies were a total waste of space.
but i now consider them to be the last chance to save what little civilization we might have left!
but only if we give them some real authority again.
if not, indeed they are wastes of space. just like our present governmental idiots are.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Laws (Penguin Classics)
The Laws (Penguin Classics) by Plato (Paperback - 27 Jan. 2005)
£14.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews