Study Guide Midterm Exam Ph 480 A Fall 2016 Essay examples
Seven potential essay questions—choose any four (4) to complete:
1) What is the Ring of Gyges? Why does Glaucon bring it up in his conversation with
Socrates about justice? What does he think we are led to believe by thinking about the story of the ring, and how does Socrates argue against this?
The Ring of Gyges is a ring that allows you to become invisible anytime you wear it, and in turn, you are able to get away with any sort of injustice. Glaucon brings up the conversation of the Ring of Gyges to Socrates when supporting his belief that justice is always something to be done for one’s own sake. Glaucon thinks that people are unable to resist the power of the Ring of Gyges, therefore, they will commit some unjust act under the influence of the ring no matter how “just” that person may seem to be. Socrates argues against Glaucon’s point by stating that being just may not be a reward to an individual in itself, and if not, then are unjust people missing out on this “reward”? Socrates goes on to evaluate how being just or unjust psychologically affects us.
2) Why, according to Aristotle in the Nicomachean Ethics, does happiness characterize a whole life (that is, if happiness is to be achieved at all)? What does this have to do with habit, and how are good habits formed, on his account? According to Aristotle, happiness characterizes a whole life because there must be an ultimate end or purpose of human action, or a high end…