Great Dialogues - Republic: Book V Summary & Analysis

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Republic: Book V Summary

Socrates begins to list the four ways in which a state or soul can deviate from justice, but he is interrupted by an objection. Previously, he had claimed that the soldiers should, along with their material possessions, keep their wives and children in common, and that one should never know the identity of one's own offspring. While it was passed over in silence initially, his interlocutors would like to hear a defense of this statement which seems absurd and counter-intuitive.

In response to this, he first discusses the role of women in the ideal republic in general. Women, he says, should be allowed to share in all of the same roles as men, since their different natures do not prevent them from performing any particular task, even though it is admitted that they are generally worse at everything than men.

Next, he passes...

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