For a suitable donation, a question could be put to the Pythia and an answer obtained from Apollo. Since the words of the Pythia were hard to understand, the priests attending her wrote up the answer in verse and delivered it to the petitioner. The answers were legendarily obscure or ambiguous -- the source of the modern of meaning of "oracular," which is precisely to be obscure or ambiguous. One example of the kinds of answers Delphi gave occurred when King Croesus of Lydiaof legendary wealth, sought advice on the attack against Persia he was contemplating.
From a systematic perspective those works present challenges to the student of natural law, for, first, what we have from Plato are thirty-five dialogues written as recollections of conversations, or like plays, but no straightforward treatises.
The fact that Plato does not speak in his own name complicates any dogmatic reading of his thought. Indeed, it occurs as such in only one place: It is precisely this opposition that Plato puts in question.
What emerges from Plato is the idea of nature as normative for human affairs as the rule of reason. There, Socrates and a group of his friends discuss the character of justice on the basis of the questionable assumption that the justice of a single human person and justice within a city are alike.
The parts of the city are analogized to the parts of the soul and the good and natural order of the former is based on that of the latter, with reason using spiritedness thumos to control the desires. The political analogue of this is a city in which the most rational people, the philosopher-guardians, use the class of auxiliaries or soldiers to control the many who are ruled by their passions.
Such an arrangement requires a number of strange and unlikely preconditions including the abolition of private property and the family among the ruling class. While the interpretation of the Republic has always been controversial, an increasing number of scholars take it more as treating moral or metaphysical themes, perhaps related to the nature of the philosophical life itself, than as a serious political proposal.
It may be mainly intended to expose the limits of perfection in politics. Kallikles argues that justice is entirely conventional, that is, the product of human agreement: The naturally just or right is an order taxis of human goods in which the goods of the soul come first, those of the body second, and external goods such as wealth third.
The goods of the soul are the virtues and only with them can the rest of the order be established and effective. This order is natural because it is according to reason and it is integral to the thing, in this case human beings.
So rhetoric, which aims merely to manipulate an audience through gratification, is unrelated to the real goods of the soul.
The art that has the good of the soul as its aim, Socrates says, is the political art, which is, in the first instance, legislative. In the Gorgias Socrates says relatively little about legislation beyond simply associating it with the care of the soul and the art of politics.
A very brief dialogue, Minos, has as its explicit subject the question: Augustine, that an unjust law is no law at all: With this definition, Plato points to the Socratic position linking politics and legislation in the Gorgias.
Ida, where Minos himself is said to have received instruction on lawgiving from the god. The first part, consisting of the first three books, is a theoretical introduction to legislation and discusses the ends of the city, education, and the regime politeia or form of government.
At the end of the third book Kleinias reveals that he is part of a Kretan commission charged with drawing up a law code for a new colony, Magnesia, and the two others agree to assist the Kretan in considering the laws for this colony, making the subsequent discussion more concrete.
Books four through seven present the main features and institutions of the city: The third part of the dialogue considers what one might call challenges or sources of resistance to the new city presented by the three parts of the soul that Socrates had identified in the Republic: The eighth book considers the desires, especially the erotic desires; The ninth book considers spiritedness thumos as both cause and response to crime; and The tenth book considers the challenge and promise of intelligence.
This tenth book contains the lengthiest natural theology of the classical period as a response to the danger atheism poses to the city.Plato and Aristotle treated morality as a genre of interpretation.
They tried to show the true character of each of the main moral and political virtues (such as honor, civic responsibility, and justice), first by relating each to the others, and then to the broad ethical ideals their translators.
Plato sees the "good life" as being achieved through the perfect love and lack of desire, while Aristotle believes that the "good life" is achieved through a perfect state that causes its citizens to act upon their virtues Aristotle's ideas seem more practical and easier to .
In his most well known work, The Republic, Plato states that in his view, only in a good society can the good life be achieved. The Republic outlines Plato’s idea of a perfect or utopian society. He also identifies the four cardinal virtues that are required for a good society. Aristotle conceives of ethical theory as a field distinct from the theoretical sciences.
Its methodology must match its subject matter—good action—and must respect the fact that in this field many generalizations hold only for the most part. And it is when a democracy has ripened as fully as this, Plato argues, that a would-be tyrant will often seize his moment.
He is usually of the elite but has a nature in tune with the time. The good leads only toward happiness therefore Aristotle's concept of life is the attainment of a life of happiness. This end goal of "the good life" is the whole reason for life, or in other words, it is Aristotle's meaning of life.