Plato and Equality for Women across Social Class


  • Coleen Patricia Zoller Susquehanna University



Plato, Equality, Women


This essay will marshal evidence for Plato’s extension of equal education and professional opportunity to all women, including artisan women who are not his ideal city’s philosopher-queens. I examine the explicit commentary in the Republic, Timaeus, and Laws about women in artisan professions, and I link it together with the three of the core principles advanced in the Republic, particularly (1) the principle of specialization (R. 369b-370c), (2) the principle of irrelevant reproductive differences (R. 454b-e, 456b), and (3) the principle of children’s potential (R. 415a-c, 423c-d) that arises from the myth of metals. Plato uses his Socrates and the Athenian to argue against gender discrimination because it violates these principles. Plato offering a theory of equal opportunity for women across all classes ought to be highlighted as one of the central achievements of the Republic.


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Author Biography

Coleen Patricia Zoller , Susquehanna University

Professor and Department Head.


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How to Cite

Zoller , C. P. (2021). Plato and Equality for Women across Social Class. Journal of Ancient Philosophy, 15(1), 35-62.