Plato vs Aristotle's View of Women

Topics: Aristotle, Reason, Gender Pages: 4 (1405 words) Published: October 6, 2005
Women: Counterparts or Subordinates
Women are often overlooked in how they add to society. However, they are a crucial part in defining relationships, roles, and families, all which contribute their share to forming a society. In order to understand what distinct part they play, let us first look at Plato's views of women, in which equal chance between the sexes give women the potential to achieve, similar to men. Aristotle, whom we will next look at, believes the contrary, that women are subsidiary to men due to natural characteristics. Let us then look into how both Plato's and Aristotle's views of society are constructed by their apparent beliefs of women.

For Plato, gender is such a minute detail that for the most part it can be neglected when compared to the goal of the society. In the just society, women are equal in ability because they have the same opportunity as men. They are given the same upbringing and education (music, poetry, and physical activity). It is unreasonable to think that women's natural abilities should be limited by something arbitrary, like their sex. Women are comprised of the same three desires as men, the appetitive, spirited, and rational, so they are equal in all abilities except physical strength, Plato claims. Thus, it would be likely to have female coworkers. "Various natures are distributed in the same way in both creatures. Women share in every way of life just as men do (Bk V, 455 d-e)." Hence women will have the rightful opportunity to share in every task, including producers, rulers, and guardians, the breakdown of Plato's society.

On the contrary, Aristotle firmly believes that women are inferior to men. It is a sociable recognition of a natural fact that men run the households. Women lack the spirited part of the soul, the part that allows them the execution to follow through with their beliefs. And furthermore, women are ruled by emotion rather than reason. Men let the reasonable solution win and act accordingly....
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