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First DemocracyThe Challenge of an Ancient Idea$
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Paul Woodruff

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195304541

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195304541.001.0001

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Natural Equality

Natural Equality

Chapter:
(p.127) Chapter Six Natural Equality
Source:
First Democracy
Author(s):

Paul Woodruff

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195304541.003.0006

Greek philosophers saw significance in human equality—rich or poor, Asian or Greeks, men and women—believing them all to belong to the same species. Homer was not a democrat, but through his stories he showed humaneness that was similar to democracy. Early anthropologists also discussed human nature, their origin, and the human ability to teach and learn. Despite the existence of the view of equality, biologically and socially, people posses differences in physical attributes and social class. Aristotle stated that humans are political animals, but Plato suggested otherwise. This chapter is about human nature and equality as tackled in Greek culture and Athenian democracy as well as the democratic equality of men, women, and slaves.

Keywords:   Greek philosophers, human equality, anthropologists, physical attributes, social class, Plato, Greek culture, Athenian democracy, women, slaves

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