Plato's Republic - Philosopher Queens

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TOPIC # 6|
206-325-492OCTOBER 6, 2010|


Even though the definition “Philosopher Queens” itself is not mentioned in the text, Plato refers to them as ‘these’ women who are capable of performing the same tasks and follow the same obligations as men. The questions as to why he thinks this way lies in his understanding of human nature and his theory of virtue. For this argument Plato used Socrates view of women’s nature and place in the city to elaborate on his own views. It is important to say that Socrates was dragged to talk about this issue, as he himself thought he finished investigating the city. He also feared the subject as he himself did not know much about it. He feared that his theory or virtue could not support his theory of philosopher queens, without making it sound completely ridiculous at the time. His fear was not from laughter upon his words, but from the thought behind it, which may not even be possible, and if possible if it is for the best. He also feared talking about a subject which he knows little about, and his companions not only luck the same knowledge, but also friends who he does not wish to drag down with him in case he slips from the truth, “it’s better to run this risk among enemies than among friends” (Plato, Republic, p. 124, Line 451). After several attempts to convince him to start, Socrates agrees to comply and begins his argument by using the example of guard dogs, where he asks whether it is true to keep the women guard dogs at home, as “incapable” (Plato, Republic, p. 125, Line 451d), since they must tend to their puppies, while the men go to hunt and guard, or should they take equal part in the hunting and guarding as men do? When Glaucon agrees with this statement, Socrates than states that it should only be right to educate and train our women the same way we educate and train our men as they are also used for the same thing as men. After this argument, Socrates...
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