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The Three waves
Transcript of The Three waves
Was she free to get an education?
Did she have a right to get a job?
Was she able to speak freely in public?
Did she have the same legal status as a man?
Was she free to choose her husband, boyfirend, partner?
Was she allowed to own property?
(Plato's Mom, Glaucon's
and, Adiemantus's mother)
Perictione was related to the great Athenian statesperson Solon
Athenian law forbade the legal independence of women.
When Plato's father, Ariston, died she had to marry Pyrilampes, her mother's brother.
When he died, her son, Adeimantus, became her legal guardian.
Women had no right to property, education, public discourse, political participation, or property.
The First Wave
Debra Nails, "The Life of Plato of Athens," A Companion to Plato,
ed. Hugh H. Benson, (Blackwell, 2000), pp. 1-2
The Second Wave
The Third Wave
Women in the Assembly
Co-ed naked gymnastics
The city need to be stripped bare of convention
Plato's Republic, Book 5
The journey though the 3 waves is dangerous.
Plato recalls Aristophanes' Ecclesiazusae, and
evokes laughter from Socrates' interlocutors to
prevent anger, and to make the journey easier.
The male drama was the theme of the production of the guardians.
The citizens are brutes.
The guardian are dogs.
The rulers are the only fully human members of the city.
With the introduction of female guardians, the guardians are human.
The idea of co-ed naked gymnastics might receive laughter,
"the old men in the gymnasiums...when they are wrinkled an old and not pleasant to the eye, all the same love gymnastic." 452b
but, those who laugh are like barbarians.
"what was ridiculous to the eyes disappeared in the light of what's best....and this shows that he is empty who believes anything is ridiculous other than the bad, and who tries to produce laughter looking to any sight as ridiculous other than the sight of the goolish and the bad; or, again, he who looks seriously to any standard of beauty he sets up other than the good." 452d
Praxagora: Citizens, you are the ones who are the cause of all this trouble. You vote yourselves salaries out of the public funds and care only for your own personal interests;...
Take my advice and you will live in perfect happiness.
I want all to have a share of everything and all property to be in common; there will no longer be either rich or poor; no longer shall we see one man harvesting vast tracts of land, while another has not ground enough to be buried in... I intend that there shall only be one and the same condition of life for all.
Women in the Assembly
from Larry Gonick, The Cartoon History of the Universe,
Volumes 1-7 (New York: Doubleday, 1990), page 324.
A comic strip look at women in ancient Greece
But if you hearken to me, you will be saved.  I assert that the direction of affairs must be handed over to the women, for they are the ones who have charge and look after our households....let us simply hand them over the power, remembering that they are mothers and will therefore spare the blood of our soldiers...
Socrates’ argument: though inequities in bodies of men and women,
their SOULS are equal and identical.
Which one is a man?
Which one is human?
Which one would be a better guardian?
Bodies, Souls, and Hair?
What about modesty?
What about eros?
Immodesty doesn’t lead to attraction between the sexes, but modesty. Modesty encourages refinement of eros, and complicates human love. Need to remove complications to human love to make society more egalitarian.
Eros can be evaded/neutralized by naked co-ed gymnastics: all ages, girths, and fitness levels exercise together and the body is de-eroticized
Wives and children in common
the only guardian is the city.
We will need a the
lottery to breed
Enforced by abortion and infanticide,
Eugenics become necessary to eliminate single greatest threat to the city:
LOYALTY TO ONE'S OWN
Socrates relates all injustice to loyalty to one’s own.
Because draws a distinction between mine and thine; and the city needs to look at all children as our child.
Rewrite the rules
Irrelevance of institutions
Friends = family
The Learning Café and American Demographics enterprisingmuseum 2003.
The most radical wave
The city and philosopher seem
equally opposed to one another
The philosopher is an
unusual and rare character:
ruled by the calculating/
contemplating part of the soul
THE JUST SOUL
THE JUST CITY
the soul makes the city good
the city makes the soul good
a comparison to Paul's restratification might also work:
No longer will therebe slave or free, male or female, Jew or Gentile.
What's wrong with family loyalty?
There is at least one thing women can do that men can't:
Isn't there a relation between individuality and progress?
By ignoring physical differences, hasn't Socrates moved to something
worse: a de-sexed society?
Seriously, you want philosophers to rule?
Philosophers don't care about the things the people care about -
like fun, relishes, pleasure, sex, contests.......
"With everyone he happens to meet, he'll hold that he's meeting a brother, or a sister, or a father, or a mother, or a son, or a doughter or their ancestors." 463c
The guardian will be one big family.
I have my own domain. I'm in charge of the oikos.
Through me, my family has order, consistency. Our household is in good hands, while my husband's off in the Ekklesia.
Hold on now. There are real inequalities.
Does everyone here get to be a guardian?
Surely the farmers, won't be happy. Do you think the farmer is ready to give up his harvest?
Philosophers are lovers of learning, knowledge and truth.
Everyone loves something
Some love honor, and some love pleasure.