Levno Plato


Aesthetics, Morality & Legal Theory

"Virtue is nothing but the love for order and beauty in society."

(Shaftesbury, 1671-1713)





My current research is on the aesthetics of law.


I assess the extent to which aesthetic means, criteria, and mediatisations are necessary justificatory components of the legitimacy of democratic legal systems. This includes not only mere decorative aspects of political and legal representation but also the means through which political and legal ideas are formed, expressed, and represented as well as the elements that  ground the sense of justice and intuitive judgements of legal practitioners.


"If direct laws and precedents be wanting, imperfect and indirect ones are brought in aid; and the controverted case is ranged under them, by analogical reasonings and comparisons, and similitudes, and correspondencies, which are often more fanciful than real. In general, it may safely be affirmed, that jurisprudence is, in this respect, different from all the sciences; and that in many of its nicer questions, there cannot properly be said to be truth or falsehood on either side. If one pleader bring the case under any former law or precedent, by a refined analogy or comparison; the opposite pleader is not at a loss to find an opposite analogy or comparison: And the preference given by the judge is often founded more on taste and imagination than on any solid argument."

(David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals, 1751)

Eva Schürmann and Levno von Plato (eds.) (2020) Rechtsästhetik in rechtsphilosophischer Absicht. Untersuchungen zu Formen und Wahrnehmungen des Rechts, Nomos Verlag, Baden-Baden.


With contributions by: Gertrude Lübbe-Wolff, Dietmar von der Pfordten, Hilge Landweer, Julia Hänni, Andreas von Arnauld, Levno von Plato, Ludger Schwarte, Laura Münkler, Eva Schürmann, Stefan Machura, Eberhard Ortland, Jörn Reinhardt


includes: Levno von Plato (2020) “Rechtsprinzipien und ästhetische Normenbegründung”, pp. 119-148


About me

since July 2017             

Post-Doc in Philosophy, University of Magdeburg

Research-Project: ‘Aesthetics of Law’, in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Eva Schürmann, Institute of Philosophy, University of Magdeburg.


2014 – 2017             

Independent Post-Doctoral Research in Philosophy, Berlin

Research-Project: ‘Aesthetics of Law: Between Democratic Legitimation and Populist Abuse’, in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Eva Schürmann, Institute of Philosophy, University of Magdeburg.


2009 – 2014       

PhD in Philosophy, University of Leeds

Thesis title:

‘The Aesthetic Expression of Moral Character: Moral Beauty in the Eighteenth Century’

Supervisors: Prof. Matthew Kieran, Prof. Aaron Meskin, and Prof. Gregory Currie


2008 – 2009       

Master of Research in Philosophy, University of Manchester

MRes-Dissertation: ‘The Relationship between Aesthetic and Moral Emotions’

Supervisors: Prof. Peter Goldie and Prof. Julian Dodd


2004 – 2008       

Master of Arts (Hons.) in Philosophy, University of Edinburgh


Part 1:‘The Role of Aesthetics and Emotions in Morality’ 

Part 2: ‘Why Would a Moral Property Merit a Certain Moral Response?



Please feel free to contact me for further information on my research.