Julia Annas's Virtue and Law in Plato and Beyond is an important and timely book on Plato's monumental final opus, the Laws. The time is ripe for an assessment of the major philosophical ideas of the Laws, and Annas has written a concise, philosophical guide that provides just that. She does not dwell on scholarly controversies, apart from indicating in footnotes where the problems lie; she does not go into detailed questions of exegesis. Her main thesis is that the Laws is not a retrenchment from the main moral and political ideas of the Republic, but a development of those ideas, about how laws and legislation are to bring about virtue in citizens. For anyone interested in virtue ethics and moral education in the ancient Greek and Roman world, this book is a must read.

Annas thinks Plato assumes in the Republic...

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