Order Description

Read: Plato, The Ring of Gyges.

According to the tradition, Gyges was a shepherd in the service of the king of Lydia; there was a great storm, and an earthquake made an opening in the earth at the place where he was feeding his flock. Amazed at the sight, he descended into the opening, where, among other marvels, he beheld a hollow brazen horse, having doors, at which he stooping and looking in saw a dead body of stature, as appeared to him, more than human, and having nothing on but a gold ring; this he took from the finger of the dead and reascended. Now the shepherds met together, according to custom, that they might send their monthly report about the flocks to the king; into their assembly he came having the ring on his finger, and as he was sitting among them he chanced to turn the collet of the ring inside his hand, when instantly he became invisible to the rest of the company and they began to speak of him as if he were no longer present. He was astonished at this, and again touching the ring he turned the collet outwards and reappeared; he made several trials of the ring, and always with the same result-when he turned the collet inwards he became invisible, when outwards he reappeared. Whereupon he contrived to be chosen one of the messengers who were sent to the court; where as soon as he arrived he seduced the queen, and with her help conspired against the king and slew him, and took the kingdom.


Write a main post in response to the topic below and a response post to one of your classmates.

Imagine you are in possession to have such a ring – would you act as the shepherd, seeking your own pleasure and advantage, or would you act in a way that, while less favorable or profitable, follows an honest path? In developing your own argument, take either the reading from Singer or Rawls into consideration. Support your claim with at least three premises.

Source: Plato. The Ring of Gyges. Republic. II The Internet Classics Archive. Web. 29 July, 2014.


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