Lon Fuller is the greatest American philosopher to devote serious attention to the ethics of lawyers. Indeed, he is arguably the greatest philosopher since Plato to do so. I don't suggest that Fuller was a philosopher of Plato's magnitude, but it is not preposterous to mention Plato and Fuller in the same breath. Their unique affinity was that both were thinkers whose broader philosophical concerns may plausibly be said to arise from reflections on the craft of law. In Plato's case, the effort to understand forensic argument, and to analyze why opinions about justice might be persuasive without being true, drives the inquiry in the Gorgias, the Republic, and the Sophist, and weaves in and out of the Apology, Theatetus, Phaedrus, Protagoras, and Laws. In a sense, lawyers and their discourse represent for Plato all that is false and fallen in human life. Plato's ideas about the true and the good take shape as a response to the institutions that condemned Socrates.
11 Geo. J. Legal Ethics 801
Scholarly Commons Citation
Luban, David, "Rediscovering Fuller’s Legal Ethics" (1998). Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works. Paper 1753.