2011 Student Research Conference:
24th Annual Student Research Conference

Platonic Notions of Punishment: Rehabilitating the Wrongdoer in the Myth of Er
Rachel N. Cook
Dr. Patricia Burton, Faculty Mentor

In his Republic, Plato searches for the method of living the best life. He concludes this lengthy work with his "Myth of Er," one of the more perplexing and controversial sections. This paper will maintain that the myth argues in favor of the imposition of rehabilitative justice, an argument that holds both when examining the myth in the context of its dramatic setting but also when interpreting the myth in light of Plato's broader use of myths of the underworld. The wrongdoer's crimes are looked upon as symptomatic of maladies of the soul (psyche). Rehabilitative punishment allows treatment and methods of ongoing care to heal not only the individual soul but the society as a whole as some former wrongdoers can regain meaningful roles in the polis.

Keywords: Rehabilitative Justice, Punishment, Plato, Myth of Er, malady of the soul

Topic(s):Philosophy & Religion

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 8-1
Location: MG 2090
Time: 8:00

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