Women in the Socratic Tradition

October 26, 2023 - October 27, 2023
Department of Philosophy, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro

Av. Rui Barbosa, 762, Flamengo.
Rio de Janeiro

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Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

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International Society for Socratic Studies

Latin-America Regional Meeting

Women in the Socratic Tradition

Rio de Janeiro

26-27 October 2023

 Call for Papers until 17 March 2023

The virtue of men and women is the same: there is evidence that Socrates himself held this thesis. But what does it mean? Different Socratics understood it differently and women figure in a variety of ways in their attitudes, narratives, arguments and metaphors. We propose that it is time to understand better what is at stake when we approach the Socratic take on women, so we would like to welcome papers on:

(i)     Important female characters in Socratic tradition: Aspasia, Xantippe, Diotima, Ischomachus’s wife and Theodote are the first names that may come to mind, but let us not forget that Socratic tradition offers different approaches to mythic women such as Helen, Alcestis and Penelope, and to female deities such as Athena and Aphrodite. It has also engaged women in philosophy: Axiotheia, Lasthenia, Arete, Menexena, Argeia, Theognis, Artemisia, Pantacleia, Lais, Nicarete and (if you have a broad concept of Socratism) Hipparchia.

(ii)    Philosophical theses on women: do women and men share the same nature? And if they do, does it follow that they are to perform the same activities or are they bound to develop this nature in different environments? Basic anthropological premises (and personal biases), such as the relation between body and soul, sexual differentiation and the distinction between nature and culture play decisive roles in committing the Socratic tradition to peculiar theses on what women are or should be.

(iii)  Female metaphors for Socratic philosophy: Socratics use to dress philosophy in women’s clothes. Philosophy is said to be a bride, a philosopher is said to be a midwife, everyone is said to be pregnant, but only a few had actually made love with truth. What are they aiming at when they do it? Do erotic metaphors include and promote women or are they attempts to prove that men can excel even in female activities? 

500 words proposals for a 20-minute presentation (followed by a 10-minute discussion) should be sent to [email protected] before 17 March 2023 in any of the ISSS languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian and German.

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March 17, 2023, 11:45pm BRT

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