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  • Author or Editor: Aaron Creller x
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The main political responsibility of the legislator to the citizens is to create laws and institutions for the sake of promoting the virtues of citizens. In Plato’s Laws, there is a tension between desiring a strong sense of virtue for the population while settling into a pessimistic acceptance of the inability of most humans to even approach it. This article draws out the tension between a strong sense of virtue and amore practical and achievable sense of virtue within the text by examining sōphrosunē as the key method of raising up the citizen. Considered in contrast to the legislators’ attempts to instil self-control and moderation in the citizens are the ways in which the legislators undermine their own project through indoctrination, coercion and the lack of opportunities to practise sōphrosunē.

In: Polis: The Journal for Ancient Greek and Roman Political Thought