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BOOK REVIEWS 95 version of the argument: Socrates has accepted merely the status of a citizen. That is undeniable. But that Socrates is thereby obliged to abide by decisions of the courts is a matter calling for more explanation than Allen gives. The rest of the argument goes through easily,-but it yields a notoriously difficult result. As Allen puts it, the Crito establishes a moral obligation to obey positive law, whereas the Apology admits the possibility that positive law may require what is wrong or forbid what is right (p. lO6). Allen's solution is that the law to which one owes a duty is the legal order as a whole; the laws that may go wrong are individual laws. Furthermore, argues Allen, the Crito's conclusion is restricted in the same way as is the premise of 49b: Socrates is obliged to obey the law provided that it is just. No agreement, not even the agreement to obey law, can commit a person to doing injustice. Still further, Allen detaches law from sanction: one may have a duty to accept a sanction for breaking a law that one had a duty to break (p. I lo). This is a reasonable solution to the problem of a citizen's duties, but it does not begin to solve the problem of the Crito. The "Laws" there do not detach law from sanction, nor would they allow Allen's distinction between individual laws and the legal order. Their claim applies to whatever (not "what" as Allen translates it) the city commands (5 lb9). The restriction Allen wants belongs not to the impassioned speech of the "Laws" but to Socrates' earlier more sober argument. Here especially Allen has overlooked the character of the Crito's rhetoric. In sum, Allen's book is less an explication of Plato's thought than it is an essay in the history and philosophy of law. As such it is fascinating in more ways than can be said in a brief review. Allen's work has qualities that are rare in academic writing--a delightful wit coupled with a deep and engaging humaneness. It is, in the end, a wise book. PAUL WOODRUFF The University of Texas, Austin Oliver O'Donovan. The Problem of Self-love in St. Augustine. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 198o. Pp. viii + ~21. The biblical injunction to love your neighbor as you love yourself crops up at many points in Augustine's writings. His meditations on its meaning contributed greatly to his psychology and theology. On the one hand, the love of self may be seen as a bad and selfish thing; obviously this would not be the model for love of the other person. On the other hand, love of self could be highminded and praiseworthy, an appreciation of one's worth as a creature of God; but this may appear to reduce to the love of God. Oliver O'Donovan's well-crafted study The Problem of Self-Love in St. Augustine undertakes to work out the implications of this problem in Augustine's thought. At the start O'Donovan explores four "aspects" of love: cosmic, positive, rational, and benevolent. These are, respectively, the sort of attraction or appetition that is patterned on physical motivations, the pursuit of subjective and objective goals, the reasoned approval and appreciation of what is judged to be good, and finally the 96 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY altruistic willing of the good of others. (Although this analysis made in the first chapter is striking, it does not seem to be much used in the rest of the book.) Chapters ~ and 3 treat the love of God and that of neighbor in relation to a "proper" love of self. At the conclusion of this section one finds what, on the surface, seems to be the obvious end of the study: "The Stoic program of the De doctrina Christiana and the Platonic program of the De Trinitate impose modifications upon the usual pattern, to be sure; but it remains the case that the man who would learn to love himself aright must sit down in the school of Christ and learn to love God." However, chapter...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 95-96
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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