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Against Ecological SovereigntyEthics, Biopolitics, and Saving the Natural World$
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Mick Smith

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816670284

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816670284.001.0001

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The Sovereignty of Good

The Sovereignty of Good

(p.27) 2 The Sovereignty of Good
Against Ecological Sovereignty

Mick Smith

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter talks about “Good” as the original principle of political authority and as a sovereign limit on the exercise of politics. It discusses Plato’s dialogue Critias, which offers an account of the Golden Age where gods are described as shepherds that use persuasion rather than force to guide human flocks. In Critias, Plato implies that the gods steer the whole mortal fabric in a way more suitable to human intelligence and produce from the soil a race of good men, to which the gods taught the order of their polity. The chapter also addresses the questions of ecological ethics and politics and ecological sovereignty through readings of Plato’s works that emphasize critical possibilities of the sovereignty of the Good.

Keywords:   good, political authority, sovereign limit, Plato, Critias, Golden Age, human intelligence, mortal fabric, ecological ethics

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