Though it keeps resurfacing, it has been pushed back often, being accused of bigotry, racism, elitism, casteism, anti-democratic nature, the list is endless. But it is beyond doubt, one of the preeminent philosophical works and has been quoted, referenced or adapted by almost all of the major thinkers since. The ideas of Socrates have had an afterlife that is as long and varied as the thousand year journey envisioned for souls in the famous Story of Er. Republic has inspired in addition to all the expository analysis, also countless creative interpretations, which have shaped our vision of future possibilities, limits and of extremities.
By evaluating these two works, this essay will accomplish four objectives. Plato was a douche-bag. Socrates stumbles through Book V as a digression from the overall trajectory of his pursuit of justice.
In it, he is goaded into discussing a presumably minor assertion, made in Book IV, that has such radical implications that the interlocutors must intervene in the discussion. The controversy in question is the natural equality of the sexes, communal women and children and the implications these claims have in the just city.
Socrates, however, is reticent to expand on these claims given the values of his contemporaries and his anticipation of a pejorative response c. Also, there is no doubt that Socrates is skeptical of what he is about to say a after having scarcely mentioned women in previous books of the Republic.
It is because of the compulsion to defend his previous assertions that Socrates must take equality seriously; it is no laughing matter, as his city relies on it. The argument that Socrates is not a feminist can be supported by the countless examples within the Republic where he is inconsistent in his respect for female equality.
First, Bloom states that guardian men need guardian women to be properly trained or risk being corrupted upon their interaction with each other Bloom, Therefore, Socrates must argue for the equality of men and women guardians in order to cultivate his rational class.
Through this argument, Socrates also facilitates the abolition of the traditional realm of the private sphere. Bloom has overlooked the fact that while the private sphere and the nuclear family are in opposition to loyalty with the city, the destruction of the private sphere disregards the body of women.
Ironically, Socrates calls for equality of the sexes by ignoring the physical differences between men and women when it benefits his just city. While he detaches the body of women from their private realm as the bearers of children, Socrates has constructed seasonal reproduction festivals to emasculate men and women of natural family duties.
Clearly, Socrates does not permit women to be different and equal. Instead, he forces her into the just city through the eradication of her private domain. Of course, in 4th century Athens, women were relegated to the private sphere and were not given the intellectual or physical training that was privy to men.
As a consequence of such social conventions, women were perceived as inferior in every way. Socrates does not escape this convention but, for the sake of his just city, he must navigate the dilemma of women in his Republic.
As the solution, Socrates establishes that the same practices for both sexes is natural and their souls are equal. Except for weaving and cooking, Socrates concludes that women are subordinate in all practices d.
Curiously, Socrates fails to mention that women are indisputably superior in childbirth and child rearing both features of human life that he has subsequently rearranged.
Socrates has a masculine perspective and as a consequence, women are expected to conform to male paradigms as opposed their own measures.
Socrates claims that women are subordinate in everyway but particularly in the sense of the physical. For example, he states that in the gymnasium, guardian women will be given lighter weights a. In principle, it would be difficult to disagree with Socrates that, for instance, segregation of athletic competitions by sex does not have to do with strength differences.
However, he states erroneously that the same somehow applies for the soul and the intellect.
The soul is the measure of strength and yet, Socrates and Bloom concur that women are weaker than men beyond physical aspects. This is because it is unlikely that women would be able to compete for the guardian class in such a meritocracy.
Therefore, they are both patently wrong. Instead, while showered with laughter, Socrates is purposively engaging in a rebuttal against Aristophanes who had attacked him in the previous dialogues Clouds and more specifically regarding women in Ecclesiazusae Bloom, Clearly, the previous four books and subsequent sections are not designed for the ulterior purpose of spitefulness against a contemporary thinker and vain amusement.
In Gorgias, Socrates actually states the contrary should prevail by emphasizing the importance of arguing not to defeat an opponent called eristic but to work co-operatively for common enlightenment Gorgias, ci ff.
Therefore, it is doubtful that Socrates would make these assertions to prove the superiority of the philosopher for the sake of petty retribution.
If this were true, as Bloom suggests, Socrates is constructing a rational argument he would otherwise denounce. This implies that Socrates is being untrue, outside the noble lie, and as a seeker of truth and justice this would place the great philosopher in disrepute.
Socrates is more concerned with maintaining the logical progression of his just city.Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile: or On Education, translated with notes and an introduction by Allan Bloom, Basic Books, Bloom also translates without the all too typical effort of other translators to make Plato "understandable." "The Republic" is an indispensible classic from which one might learn many things in course of one's life.5/5(1).
The listed critical essays and books will be invaluable for writing essays and papers on The Republic Welcome to the new SparkNotes! Your book-smartest friend just got a . Allan Bloom’s Interpretive Essay extrapolates, from the controversial women guardian argument in Book V of Plato’s Republic, dubious claims that are not persuasive and bypasses more obvious reasons why Socrates cannot be deemed a feminist.
I could sit here and quote Allan Bloom’s Interpretive Essay about “The Republic of Plato” all day long. I read the translation and then then the essay and felt that it was worth all the effort.
Allan Bloom’s Interpretive Essay extrapolates, from the controversial women guardian argument in Book V of Plato’s Republic, dubious claims that are not persuasive and bypasses more obvious reasons why Socrates cannot be deemed a feminist.