Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Socratic Justice: Towards making Coeducation Genuinely that, Co-Educational

Assoc Prof Susan Stocker.

The U.S. Air Force Academy neglected 60 cases of reported rape before the scandal that, although their rapists were never punished, the women reporting were--for various minor infractions. Many of these women cadets have since left the Academy, but report that the institution’s complicity in forestalling effective investigations was even more devastating. We learn about injustice from the way whistleblowers react with shock and anger when they are punished for doing what was right. Why is it that they feel so wronged? Why bother trying to be just, anyway? Socrates’ answer is that justice benefits us because it empowers us to live well; caring for our own souls enables us to realize our fullest human capacities. Conversely, injustice strikes against these selfsame capacities. So, the only legitimate role our “rulers”--be they managers, deans, or department chairs, administrators--have is to govern in such a way that we may excel at our human, not to mention professional, function. We need Socratic justice to redress issues of sexual assault and harassment on campus, especially concerning the reportage of it, because the “process” of reportage often revictimizes the victims who report, thereby violating a human capacity they sought to enhance via education. To offer genuine coeducation, we need to create campus environments that are good for both women and men; that enhance rather than diminish all our abilities to flourish as human beings. Nothing less than women’s full citizenship is at stake in this promising reform of our educational institutions


Assoc Prof Susan Stocker  (United States)
Associate Professor
Philosophy and Religion Department
Goucher College

Trained in both the social sciences and philosophy, Susan Stocker specializes in feminist ethics using especially Plato and Aristotle, phenomenology, narrative analysis and liberatory pedagogy. She also emphasizes actual moral agency, for which she uses the ethical work of Arisototle tied together with techniques from Brazilian theatre activist, Augusto Boal’s Theater of the Oppressed.

  • Sexual harassment
  • Sexual assault
  • Socrates
  • Justice
  • Citizenship
  • Education
  • Campus
  • Whistleblowers

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)