The Law Most Beautiful and Best : Medical Argument and Magical Rhetoric in Plato's Laws
The Law Most Beautiful and Best is a thoughtful and creative examination of the role irrational rhetoric ought to play in persuading citizens to voluntarily obey laws. Author Randall Baldwin Clark explores the figure of the physician in Plato's Laws to address this question, identifying the subtle ways in which Plato uses the physician's role in healing as a metaphor for the task of governance and arguing that Plato hints that rational discourse may ultimately be inadequate as a persuasive technique.
- Hardback | 196 pages
- 152.4 x 231.1 x 20.3mm | 385.56g
- 01 Feb 2004
- Lexington Books
- Lanham, MD, United States
- black & white illustrations
Randall Clark's wonderful analysis of the Laws illuminates the perennial tensions between statesmanship and the rule of law by exploring Plato's emphasis on the need-more important today than ever before-to link the arts of medicine and politics by balancing science, prudence, and persuasion. His exegesis has much to offer even to political theorists not familiar with Plato. -- Roger Masters, Dartmouth College How can statesmen influence citizens to take necessary but bitter medicine? With an impressive understanding of the variety of ancient Greek medical practices, Clark engages and provokes the reader with his account of the Platonic use of medical imagery to explore the power and limits of rationality in political life. -- Christopher Kelly, Boston College Clark bringing to bear the eye of an experienced lawyer offers refreshing insight and clarity to our understanding of the Laws. At the same time, he is well informed and rigorous in his scholarship, especially his knowledge of medical lore. This stimulating book would make valuable reading in an advanced course in political philosophy. It is highly recommended. The Classical Outlook The Law Most Beautiful and Best makes a distinctive contribution to the literature on Platonic political philosophy..." The Law and Politics Book Review
About Randall Baldwin Clark
Randall Baldwin Clark holds a doctorate in Political Science from the University of Chicago and a law degree from the University of Virginia. Following a year's service in the chambers of the Hon. Edith H. Jones, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and three years in private practice, Mr. Clark returned to the academy, teaching at the George Mason University School of Law and the University of Florida Levin College of Law.
Table of contents
Chapter 1 Philosophy and the Rule of Law Chapter 2 Magic Chapter 3 Medicine Chapter 4 Geriatrics Chapter 5 Pediatrics Chapter 6 Plato's Grimoire Chapter 7 Eat, Drink, Man, Woman Chapter 8 The Law Most Beautiful and Best