The Place of the Idea of Gender Equality in Plato's Theory of Punishment (With an emphasis on theory of the Soul)

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Philosophy and Theology, Faculty of Theology, University of Tehran, College of Farabi, Qom, Iran


The issue of gender was extensively discussed for the first time in Plato's dialogues, especially in the Republic, and since then, many views have been raised about it. In this article, we will explain and analyze Plato's perspective on why and how women benefit from equal education and the necessity of their entry into the economic, political, and social fields in his utopia. Furth  ermore, we will investigate the idea of gender equality in the context of punishment, emphasizing the theory of comprehensive punishment, purposeful and basic justice. In the present study, it will become clear that the determining components of the Platonic theory of punishment are not related to the element of "gender." Instead, they focus on the element of "soul" rather than the human body. In other words, among the three general life periods of the soul (previous life, together with the body, and after separation from the body), "punishment" is related to the middle period of the soul's life. Secondly, according to Plato, the goal of punishment, even in cases where physical punishment may be considered, is originally and essentially aimed at the soul, not the body. Thirdly, achieving stability, security, and justice in society, which are essentially the Platonic ideals, is possible only in the shadow of the theory of punishment independent of gender. This is why he defends the idea of gender equality in the Republic


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