Greatness of Soul and the Souls of Women: Plato’s Laws as an Introduction to Rousseau’s Letter to D’Alembert

American Dialectic, Vol. 2, No. 3, September 2012, pp. 216-249

George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 12-65

35 Pages Posted: 3 Oct 2012

See all articles by Nelson Lund

Nelson Lund

George Mason University School of Law

Date Written: October 3, 2012

Abstract

This article takes a new look at the education of women in Plato’s Laws. It will be followed by a second article in American Dialectic showing how Rousseau made use of the dialogue in addressing a specific issue of political reform during his own time. As I hope to show, the obvious parallels involving the political effects of imitative poetry and drama are not the only signs of Plato’s influence on Rousseau, and perhaps not the most important. I will also argue that the apparent inconsistency between some of Rousseau’s most important recommendations and those found in the Laws actually reflects a deeper agreement about the principles on which such reforms should be based.

Keywords: Athenian Stranger, Collected Writings, Cretan, Discourse on the Sciences and the Arts, Dorians, economics, Emile, Jean-Jacques, Julie, Kleinias, Knossian, logos, Lycurgus, Magnesia, marriage, Megillus, New Heloise, Oeuvres Complètes, Republic, Social Contract, Socrates, Spartan, theater, virtuous

JEL Classification: I21, N33

Suggested Citation

Lund, Nelson Robert, Greatness of Soul and the Souls of Women: Plato’s Laws as an Introduction to Rousseau’s Letter to D’Alembert (October 3, 2012). American Dialectic, Vol. 2, No. 3, September 2012, pp. 216-249; George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 12-65. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2156372

Nelson Robert Lund (Contact Author)

George Mason University School of Law ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
703-993-8045 (Phone)

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