You are on page 1of 1

Plato's Philosophy of Law Plato's concept of law is very wide. He views it as a product of reasoni ng based on Nature.

According to Plato, we live in an orderly universe. At the b asis of this orderly universe are the Form or idea of the Good . This idea of what is g ood is the cause of all things, and when it is seen, it leads a person to act wi sely. Plato consistently contrasted law and the ideals of tyranny (the ideals of a person, based on his own standards). Law fixes the problem of tyranny, sinc e it allows allows people to make rational decisions (unaffected by passion) bef ore the moment of crisis. In other words, there is an inherent risk of randomnes s and arbitrariness to human decisions when they are made at the moment a proble m arises. It is better to formulate and implement laws that are fixed and stable before a crises arises, rather than base decisions in a moment of passion prior to a crises. Laws are prospective rules which provides a stabilizing affect on an otherwise arbitrary and random human nature. It should be the basis of standa rds on which a community reflects and applies the moment it is confronted with s ituations requiring rational decision making. Accordingly, Plato insisted that we have an unqualified obligation to ob ey the law. The law shapes an association not by an agreement to achieve any par ticular substantive purpose, such as a business organization or a club, but by s ubscription to a common set of rules, or norms of the association. It is a coll ective agreement to abide by a set of rules which is the basis of an association 's creation. An association ceases to be one the moment this collective agreemen t is dissolved. Once a person resides or remains in an association ( such as a f amily, community, or a nation), it is automatic that he is subjected to the laws of such association. The voluntary act of remaining in such association implies a voluntary subscription to the rules and laws of such association. The law according to Plato was never a perfect concept or cure to such p roblems existing within the society, nevertheless, it must be obeyed because the re exist an implicit agreement to abide by it. His other concept of law views it as a divine order encoded into human l aw by an individual with privileged access to the divine world.