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Volume 7, 2007

Andre Archie
Pages 160-171

The Unity of Plato’s Minos

The Minos is a much neglected dialogue. The scholarly attention that has been given to it is unimaginative and general. Our discussion of the Minos remedies these scholarly deficits.We have read the dialogue closely and have concluded, on a textual basis, that Socrates intends an empirical investigation of νόμος insofar as νόμος is the product of tradition and the behavior it prescribes. Our investigation also has been especially sensitive to the dialogue’s etymological sophistication. Besides Plato’s Cratylus, no other dialogue comes close to mirroring the argument explored with its etymological foundations. This observation justifies the seriousness with which we have treated Socrates’ discussion of King Minos. In fact, it is Socrates’ discussion of King Minos that unifies the dialogue as a whole. Our hope is that the treatment contained in these pages of the Minos contributes to a scholarly reevaluation of this profound and complex dialogue.