Philosophy writing paper 001

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Choose one of the following to write on:

Word count at least 750

  1. From the “Ring of Gyges,” assess Glaucon’s notion of justice (holiness or virtue) as a social contract. Put another way, is the moral life a matter of the soul or a means to self-preservation? In your view does he successfully respond to Socrates’ desire for a definition of justice? Why or why not?
  2. Hume challenges the notion that “all benevolence is mere hypocrisy, friendship a cheat, public spirit a farce, fidelity a snare to procure trust and confidence; and that all of us, at bottom, pursue only our private interest, …..” Do you think he is successful in showing what is wrong with this view? Why or why not? [A word of warning and caution: Hume is NOT an egoist. He and Rachels are in the same moral camp. This is why a careful read of his essay (especially the opening paragraphs) is important if you choose to write on his arguments.]
  3. In light of the larger context of Rachels’ essay evaluate his claim that, “Indeed, a man without sympathy at all would scarcely be recognizable as a man; and that is what makes ethical egoism such a disturbing doctrine in the first place.”

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