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Currency, Trade and Commerce in Plato's Laws

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This article examines the grounds for Plato's negative attitude towards trade, commerce and currency in the Laws. The author shows that commerce and trade are condemned because they are fundamentally private, and demonstrates that Plato rejects gold and silver currency because its use encourages a kind of cosmopolitanism. Rather than condemning the competitiveness or licentiousness of the economic sphere, Plato critiques it for turning the citizens' attention away from civic life.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Philosophy, Kresge Hall, Rm 2-335, Northwestern University, Evanston IL 60208-2214, USA., Email:

Publication date: 2006-01-01

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