Philosophy Assignment #3
Glaucon relates the fable of Gyges the shepherd, on pp. 43-4. The fable concerns the reasons why we do what is considered morally right and avoid what is considered morally wrong (a particular example of avoiding something considered morally wrong would be refraining from theft or murder). The fable implicitly rejects a self-flattering “idealistic” view about why we do the right thing and avoid the wrong, and supports a cynical, “realist” view about why we really do right and avoid wrong.
1) Briefly describe the fable in your own words.
2) Describe the “idealistic” view, which the fable implicitly rejects, about why we avoid theft or murder.
3) Describe the “realist” view which the fable supports about why we really avoid theft or murder.
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