1)In Book II of Plato’s Republic, the character Glaucon theorizes (in his story of the Ring of Gyges) that any man — even if he is a virtuous man — who would find a ring that would make him invisible would use its power for his own benefit.  That is to say, if there were no consequences for your actions (because know one could see you) most, if not all people, would use this power for evil or personal gain.

Do you agree with Glaucon’s assessment of the human condition?  Why? Why not?

2)In Book III of Plato’s Republic, Socrates denotes that the “guardians” of the city should be those individuals who love only what is best for the city, and not that which is personal to them.  In other words, they will always act sacrificially for the benefit of the city, regardless of the outcome and how it effects them individually.

Do you agree with Socrates that individuals should act for the greater good of their city, country, nation, etc?  Or, are there instances when we might be compelled to go against the greater good for our own personal interest?  Explain your thinking.

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