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Philosopher Queens w/ Mary Townsend (Republic V)

The most controversial part of Plato's Republic is its fifth book, wherein Socrates argues for the political equality of men and women, the abolition of the nuclear family, a strange eugenics program, and the idea that philosopher kings and philosopher queens should be put in charge of political affairs. Joining us to discuss book 5 is Mary Townsend, assistant professor of philosophy at Saint John's University in Queens and author of the book The Woman Question in Plato's Republic. *** Support the project Via Patreon: Or through a one-time donation: *** Transcript of the Episode's Prologue The Republic is a dialogue whose ostensible purpose is to define justice. As you’ll remember from last time, that is accomplished in book 4 (out of ten books). So at this point, you might be wondering, What is Plato going to do with the remaining 60% of the work? Well, remember how at the very beginning of this series we discussed the onion-like structure of the Republic – how the entire book resembles an onion chopped through the middle? It’s got this concentric ring structure where the beginning and end mirror each other, the second part from the beginning is echoed in the penultimate section, third from the beginning corresponds to third from the end etc. After having gradually constructed the ideal polis and defined justice, the logical next step for Socrates to bring out this symmetrical structure of the dialogue would be to methodically deconstruct the ideal state

Philosopher Queens w/ Mary Townsend (Republic V)


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