Monday, July 17, 2006

Sex and Utopia

I applaud Socrates' notion that women and men should be able to do the same work and hold the same positions in society as men. When comparing the breeding of humans to that of dogs, Socrates asks "if women are to have the same duties as men, they must have the same nurture and education?" (T.R. p.118) to which Glaucon replies affirmatively. I could not agree more with that idea. Where I think Socrates and Glaucon are wrong, however, is that they think women are spmehow inherently weaker in any given situation than a man (except for, they mention, in things such as "the art of weaving, and the management of pancakes and preserves" (T.R. p.122)). This could, perhaps, simply be a product of the time period and culture in which Plato wrote. It is sometimes hard not to look at ideas through an over-simplified crictical contemporary microscope. Nevertheless, Socrates puts women on a rather fair level, especially considering their total lack of even being spoken of up until now. The notion that women are vital and should be included in the basic, fundamental workings of society is quite utopian in my opinion.

After the equality issue, Socrates delves into a rather interesting view of how people should be born into the State. The question isn't whether his idea for selective breeding is my version of utopia, but rather if it represents the characteristics of utopia. Obvious biological logical flaws aside, Socrates' novel idea of placing prime-of-life men with their female counterparts to produce a commenwealth generation of wonderbabies represents all that utopia stands for. That is to say, utopia, as a hope or dream for a better way of life or even in the colloquial sense of being farfetched, is fully illustrated in Socrates' description. If only creating a virtuous, noble, and moral society were as easy as breeding good looking dogs...shucks.


Blogger Tiffany said...

Oh jeez... next time I need to read other people's posts before writing one of my own. Though everyone's posts are similar, mine just seems like a way crappier, shorter, less detailed version of yours. Why are you such a smartie? =)

"If only creating a virtuous, noble, and moral society were as easy as breeding good looking dogs...shucks." That made me laugh.

12:03 PM  
Blogger Danny said...

Do you think that selective breeding is a an aspect of utopia? What about the genetics aspect, granted they didn't know anything about it at that time, however if we view it in today's society we might as well clone the perfect man and women. I understand in their eyes they are trying to make a better society, however there are better ways than that approach. I guess I just can't see past this detail to make me appreciate his ideals.

6:33 PM  

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