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date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The dialogues that are most obviously important for Plato’s political philosophy include: the Apology, the Crito, the Gorgias, the Laws, the Republic, and the Statesman. Further, there are many questions of political philosophy that Plato discusses in his dialogues. These topics include, among others: (1) the ultimate ends of the city’s laws and institutions; (2) who should rule, the forms of constitution, and their ranking; (3) what institutions and offices there should be; (4) the nature and extent of citizens’ obligation to obey the laws; (5) the proper criterion of citizenship; (6) the political and social status of women; (7) the purposes of punishment; (8) private property; and (9) slavery. This chapter attempts to provide an overall picture of Plato’s political philosophy, focusing on three moments: the “Socratic” dialogues, including the Apology and the Crito; the great middle-period work, the Republic, along with the Phaedo; and finally, two works from Plato’s last period, the Statesman and the Laws.

Keywords: political philosophy, Plato, dialogues, Apology, Crito, Gorgias, Laws, Republic, Statesman

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