Dynamik und Stabilität der Tugend in Platons Nomoi

Aithér 8:66-89 (2016)
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Abstract
Plato’s theory of virtue in the Laws could be striking for someone who is more familiar with Aristotle’s ethics for conceptual complementarity between the two positions (contrary emotions, the ordering element of reason, virtue as a mean which lies between two forms of vice, typically linked to excessive actions, etc.). Plato’s theory, however, still differs from that of Aristotle in two crutial points. First, the source of emotional dynamism is, according to Plato, supraindividual as far as the psyche is a cosmological principle. Only if it comes to be formed and ordered, it separates from the universal cosmic context and make up the emotional nature of an individual soul. But the soul is not, and this is the second point of difference, ordered by some external element (training or education, organized by a rational agent). Plato counts on a pre-arranged order of emotions at a particular ontological topos of the individual soul into which reason eventually descends. Emotions, on their part, seem to include a nexus between formable and forming that is chronologically and methodocally prior to that between the biological substratum and its rational organization, as assumed by Aristotle.
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