By Raphael Arteau McNeil
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Extra info for An approach to the ''Laws'': The problem of the harmony of the goods in Plato's political philosophy
This appears from the fact that the model the Stranger will now use for 42. Cf. Statesman, 272b8-c5. 33 showing the art of statesmanship is the art of weaving. The explanation of this analogy between statesmanship and weaving is the goal of this first chapter, after which we will be able to turn to the Republic and the Laws. It is then not inappropriate to pause here in order to flesh out the standard for politics the Stranger just gave. What strikes one at first is not so much that philosophy stands in the position of the highest good.
The Stranger divides these coworking arts into two arts: the “auxiliary-cause” arts (sunaition) and the “proper-cause” arts (literally, the cause itself: autē aitia; 281d11). ), whereas the proper-cause arts include 47. Cf. Statesman, 279a7-b2. ” In other words, the recourse to a model is meant to break with the methodological approach by division. 48. Benardete proposes interpreting the analogy with weaving “rather generously”: “Some artefacts are directed to the enhancement of life, others to the avoidance of death, either individually (self-preservation) or collectively.
In short, if there was philosophy, it was not political philosophy. In contrast to Cronus’ reign, we may then say that politics and statesmanship originate when human beings are in need of a comprehensive perspective not only with regard to the whole of nature but with regard to themselves as well. It has been said earlier that in the absence of divine shepherding men must take care of themselves, which implies the development of arts and the division of labor. The division of labor based on the arts appears to be some sort of reflection of man’s inner fragmentation.
An approach to the ''Laws'': The problem of the harmony of the goods in Plato's political philosophy by Raphael Arteau McNeil