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Rethinking Political Thinkers

Rethinking Political Thinkers (1st edn)

Manjeet Ramgotra and Simon Choat
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date: 21 February 2024

p. 20p. 212. Socrates, Plato, and Sojourner Truthlocked

p. 20p. 212. Socrates, Plato, and Sojourner Truthlocked

  • Patrizia Longo


This chapter examines the concepts of knowledge, education, and politics in the teachings of Socrates, Plato, and Sojourner Truth through a gender and racial lens. Race, gender, and class are often factors of exclusion in philosophy, and they are interrelated: philosophical justifications for the superiority of one group over another have been influenced by and have in turn reinforced racist, sexist, and classist biases. Contrary to Socrates and Plato, Truth maintained that equality is foundational to justice. In her speeches, she addressed the need for racial and sexual equality, for the franchise for Black people and women. Truth’s critique of racism, sexism, and classism reverberates today in societies that may have eliminated legal discrimination against women and minorities but still maintain it de facto.

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