Plato's (c.428-348 or 347 B.C.E.) fascinating dialogue explores the nature of legislation and governance in an ideal state. The discussion ranges from mundane, everyday affairs (marriage laws, sexual habits, crime and punishment, trade, slavery, and many other topics) to deep philosophical questions about the existence of the gods, the nature of the soul, and the problem of evil. In the final analysis Plato envisions a political state described as a mean between monarchy and democracy ruled by a council of the most virtuous elders who are guardians of the law. This classic work is indispensable for students of both political science and philosophy, and anyone interested in the perennial quest to establish a just society.
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