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Philosophy in the Classroom: Caught You! The Ring of Gyges from Plato's Republic


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Grade Level Grades 9-12
Resource Type Activity
Standards Alignment

About This Lesson

Caught you! Are people only good because they fear punishment and hope for a reward? I teach Glaucon's retelling of the Ring of Gyges from Plato's book The Republic. The story is about a shepherd who gets hold of a magical ring that makes him invisible. What would you do with such power? Glaucon tells the story to refute Socrates's notion that justice is a worthy pursuit in of itself. Would you use it for good or would you use it for ill? I developed a lesson plan to get students thinking about both sides of the argument.

*This resource comes packaged with an editable Google Docs link*

This resource includes the following features:

Teaching Philosophy with Young People - Lesson on the use and misuses of Justice

Essential Question: Am I a good person only when I think others are looking?

  • 1 Pre-Reading Worksheet
  • The text of the story is included in this resource for educational purposes
  • 1 Visual Representation of Gyges Finding the Ring
  • 15 reading comprehension questions + 1 Prediction Question
  • 10 Discussion Questions
  • 5 Custom-made scenarios to use for Group Work
  • Answer key for both comprehension and discussion questions
  • Suggested Lesson Plan (with ideas and instructions on how to use this resource)
  • Bibliography

Suggested Uses:

  1. Humanities Course on Ancient Greece
  2. World History Course on the History of Ideas
  3. Civics and U.S. Government
  4. Literature Course
  5. Introduction to Ethics Course
  6. Introduction to Philosophy Course
  7. Ancient Greek History

See my lesson Plato's Allegory of the Cave (also part of my Philosophy in the Classroom series). Follow me out of the cave and go to my website at Stones of Erasmus. :-)




May 4, 2020
1.79 MB


Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when encountering an unknown term important to comprehension or expression.


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