A discussion of socrates thoughts on equality between men and women

Go back to the Plato page for more texts and other resources. Having dispensed with the individual family in his system of government, and not knowing any longer what to do with women, he finds himself forced to turn them into men?. Plato and Aristotle, two of the most influential philosophers in the Ancient World, both had radical views on the nature and capabilities of women. Many of these views were similar, yet somehow Plato became a champion of the female cause, while Aristotle was labelled a male chauvinist.

A discussion of socrates thoughts on equality between men and women

The Republic of Plato. Then, I said, I must now go back again and say what perhaps should have been said then in its turn. However, maybe it would be right this way—after having completely finished the male drama, to complete the female, especially since you are so insistent about issuing this summons.

For human beings born and educated as we described, there is, in my opinion, no right acquisition and use of children and women other than in their following that path along which we first directed them. It is fascinating to see how even so long ago, the equality of the sexes was an important and divisive issue.

By equality, Plato does not simply mean a comparison of like things with like things.

Role Of Women In Plato’s Republic - Oxford Scholarship

For instance, the equality of this apple and this apple both are apples A discussion of socrates thoughts on equality between men and women hence equal.

By equality, he means the insistence that unlike things are really like things. The question he is trying to answer is whether or not men and women are like things. Of course, they are both rational animals equipped with emotions and passions, likes and dislikes, and they both contribute, in some way or another, to the polis.

But are they equal in the same respect, at the same time, in the same way to one another?

For now, however, our thoughts will concentrate on Plato and what he really thought of women and their capabilities. Firstly we should make clear that at no point does Plato deny that there are differences between the two sexes - his ideas on equality lie solely in the nature of humans. Oct 18,  · In conclusion, it is shown through the discussion between Socrates and Glaucon in the beginning of Book V about the roles of women and men in the city that Socrates is a feminist, because he is advocating for the rights or interests of women. The history of the movement for gender equality is therefore an intellectual, political, social and economic history of the changing relationship between men and women, rather than how it is often distortedly represented as a ‘pro-woman’ movement.

This question presents one of the more puzzling assertions in the Republic, namely the idea that the perfectly just city is only possible by eradicating gender inequality in the warrior class and training men and women together. How is it possible that the unity and justice of the city depends on there being male and female equality in a group of warriors, who, traditionally, were only male?

How does gender integration in the Republic contribute to the overall regime, and what difficulties are likely going to arise by trying to bring it into existence? In short, what does gender equality have to do with justice in the soul and is this possible only by removing all traditional distinctions between men and women?

The first part of this essay will explore the overall argument of Socrates regarding gender equality in the warrior classes and its implementation in the just city. The next essay will focus on whether Socrates is being serious or not. If he is being serious, how does he intend to do it, if not, why does he propose it in the first place?

How Did We Get Here? The issue of gender arises in the discussion between Glaucon and Socrates after it is asserted that there is a problem of what to do with women and children concerning, primarily, their education in the city, c-d.

Equality (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Until this point in the dialogue, they have only focused their attention on the education of men, since they, naturally, would be fitted more toward the warrior class than either women or children. But their inquiry has discovered an overall problem in the city, as women and children cannot be left alone to do nothing.

Socrates has no hesitation in asserting that women and children should be taught all things in common with the men and Glaucon agrees, with certain reservations—understanding that women and children are, by their nature, weaker than men, e.

The question they propose then, is does their weakness prohibit their being educated at all or only in some things. All warriors, they agree, are trained in music and gymnastics, thus enabling the spirited and philosophic parts of their souls to be properly formed. Glaucon has no issue with their training in music, as this would involve the use of harmonies to discipline the spirited faculties, and hence their education in music does not radically depart from Athenian custom.

What concerns Glaucon, and the reader for that matter, is the gymnastic education the warriors receive and how that education would be offered to inculcate the female warriors. This is, I believe, critical to his overall strategy, wherein equality of the sexes—a completely new and radical proposition—trumps traditional standards of modesty and comportment in Greece.

By focusing on the need for physical equality first, Socrates goes to the heart of the problem, i.

Contributors

If he can prove that gender equality is what is best for the city and that this equality is only possible by treating men and women exactly alike, he must destroy that barrier which makes men and women so different, the one tangible distinction which is so obviously contrary to his overall assertion.

The equality Socrates wants is a radical equality, where there is neither a male nor a female, but only warrior. Many of the listeners present indeed find this proposal troubling, if not absurd, but Socrates reminds them that it was not long before that even their training naked was discouraged, d ; yet, in spite of this, training naked was now a widespread and acceptable practice.

The issue is not nakedness for Socrates. Being clothed or not clothed is not, in and of itself, a moral action; it is neutral. The problem, of course, is when the sexes are mixed together, as he is proposing here.

A discussion of socrates thoughts on equality between men and women

But, Socrates is unmoved by his concern. He does not address it, I think, because it is not a concern necessary to his overall argument, namely that men and women must be trained together and that equality will only exist if this is the case. Hence, to ensure that their training is the same, they must train together.

There is no possible way for women to endure the terrors and grueling demands in the warrior class, if they are not trained exactly like their male companions. Halliwell 1 states that The comparison yields a picture of extreme divergence; in all the following respects, the proposals of Bk.

Allan Bloom 2in his Interpretive Essay goes one step further in claiming that what Socrates is attempting to do is to take all things that were private and make them public concerns. Now Socrates proceeds to try to make public or common everything that remains private. If this judgment is correct, and I think that Bloom is correct here, then all forms of traditional Athenian custom must be discarded for the best city to come into existence.

One problem completely ignored by Socrates is the point that nakedness between the sexes was not deemed inappropriate solely on the basis of convention, but more immediately, to prevent licentiousness, 3 because civilized men need some mastery over their sexual appetites.By equality, Plato does not simply mean a comparison of like things with like things.

For instance, the equality of this apple and this apple (both are apples and hence equal). By equality, he means the insistence that unlike things are really like things. The question he is trying to answer is whether or not men and women are like things.

Republic V contains two revolutionary proposals for the social organisation of the ideal state, the first that the function of guardianship is to be performed by men and women alike (cb), the second that for the guardians the private household and therefore the institution of marriage is to be abolished (bd), since the guardians do not own property and the care of children is to.

Republic V contains two revolutionary proposals for the social organisation of the ideal state, the first that the function of guardianship is to be performed by men and women alike (cb), the second that for the guardians the private household and therefore the institution of marriage is to be abolished (bd), since the guardians do not own property and the care of children is to be a communal .

Socrates’ Vision of Gender Equality: How Did We Get Here?

Plato and Aristotle on the Nature of Women Nicholas D. Smith Journal of the History of Philosophy, Volume 21, Number 4, October , Republic is based upon his view that "women and men have the same nature in the view that Socrates wishes to emancipate the Athenian woman. '''~ Instead.

Aristotle's views on women influenced later Western thinkers, as well as Islamic thinkers, Plato firmly believed in reincarnation and this was very important for the distinction he made between the nature of men and women.

This was not the case for Aristotle, who saw the differences as biological. Write a few ideas on the board to encourage discussion of the equality between men and women: the workplace, the home, government, etc.

Ask students if they feel that women are truly equal to men in these various roles and places.

Most Famous Philosophers - List of Famous Philosophers in History