Plato and the Virtues of Military Units

Journal of Military Ethics 13 (2):190-202 (2014)
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Abstract

In this article, I use Plato's functional account of justice and temperance in the Republic to contend that military units have at least two virtues that are not reducible to the virtues of the individuals in the units. Specifically, I use Plato's discussion of justice and temperance in the city-state to focus on the nature of these virtues in military units. I support my thesis by pointing out the value of attributing them to military units and by indicating some of the ways that modern militaries currently promote the states that Plato identifies as justice and temperance. By understanding these virtues and the ways that they can be promoted, the performance of units can be improved

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