The Original Ring Of Power - Deepstash
The Original Ring Of Power

The Original Ring Of Power

ted.com

18

3

Keep reading for FREE

Power, Benefits, Justice, Consequences

A ring with supernatural abilities tempts its beholder with power. But there are no hobbits, dwarves, or Valkyries in this tale. In fact, the legend of the Ring of Gyges appeared long before those characters were ever committed to paper: more than 2,000 years ago, in the Greek philosopher Plato’s “Republic.” The story surfaces as the philosopher, Socrates, and his student, Glaucon, discuss why people act justly. Is it because it’s what’s right? Or because it’s a convention that’s enforced through punishment and reward?

15

366 reads

Gyges, The Original Smeagol

Playing devil’s advocate, Glaucon argues against Socrates and recounts the following story:

Long ago, a shepherd named Gyges was tending his flock when an earthquake struck, ripping an opening to the ground. The chasm drew Gyges in. There, his eyes alighted upon a bronze horse, the doors to its central chamber ajar. Peering inside, Gyges discovered the corpse of a giant. On its finger, a golden ring, which Gyges pocketed before retracing his steps. 

14

230 reads

From Shepherd To King

Later, Gyges sat among the other shepherds, fiddling with the mysterious ring when, suddenly, after absentmindedly twirling its stone, he became invisible.When he turned the stone back in the opposite direction, he reappeared. Emboldened by the ring’s powers, new possibilities bloomed before him, and a sordid plan hatched in his mind. Gyges became a messenger to the king of Lydia, and, inside the palace, used the ring to prowl undetected. He seduced the queen and convinced her to betray her husband. And soon Gyges, once a humble shepherd, had murdered the monarch and claimed the kingdom.

14

130 reads

The 3 Classes Of Good

Glaucon tells this story to illustrate how people can apparently benefit by acting unjustly. After all, wouldn’t any rational person act like Gyges if presented the opportunity to get what they desired without consequence?

Exploring this argument, Glaucon breaks all good things into 3 classes. The first, we desire for their own sake, like the experience of harmless pleasure. The second, we want only for the value they bring, though they may be onerous, like exercise or medicine. The third class we desire both for their own sake and the value they offer, like knowledge and health.

16

134 reads

Justice: A Burden, If We’re Honest

Glaucon argues that justice belongs to the second class of good: it’s a burden that nevertheless brings rewards. The only reason anyone conducts themselves virtuously, he reasons, is due to external influences. So it’s appearing— not actually being— virtuous that matter.

15

140 reads

The 3 Parts Of The Human Soul

Socrates, as written by Plato, disagrees, countering that justice belongs to the third class of good, offering both extrinsic and intrinsic benefits. Socrates argues that the human soul has three parts: reason, spirit, and appetite. Reason guides an individual to truth and knowledge, and is influenced by either spirit or appetite. Spirit is righteous, ambitious, and the source of bold action, while appetite consists of baser, bodily desires.

15

118 reads

Appetite And Soul Disharmony

To Socrates, the philosopher is led by reason, and their spirit keeps their appetite in check, making them the most just and the happiest. Even without consequences for self-serving wrongdoings, they wouldn't commit them. Meanwhile, the tyrant succumbs to appetite and acts unjustly. So, while Gyges may have attained power and wealth, Socrates implies that his soul would be in disharmony. He’d be enslaved to his own base desires rather than guided by reason and wouldn’t be truly happy.

15

112 reads

Team Socrates Or Team Glaucon?

Before Plato penned this discussion, Chinese philosopher Confucius similarly reasoned that by simply acting justly, one also benefits oneself. After, modern Western philosophers voiced varying beliefs. Thomas Hobbes, for instance, argued that the state of nature is violent and selfish. Justice, therefore, is imposed by authority. John Locke, in contrast, asserted that people are naturally obligated to act justly and they agree to participate in civil society to secure their natural rights.

15

119 reads

CURATED BY

xarikleia

“An idea is something that won’t work unless you do.” - Thomas A. Edison

The allegory of the ill-gotten magical ring that lures its wearer towards their darkest desires continues to inspire. So, if the ring of Gyges fell into your hands, what would you do?

MORE LIKE THIS

The Dark History Of Zombies

The Dark History Of Zombies

ted.com

The Power of Habit

The Power of Habit

Charles Duhigg

The Power of Habit

The Power of Habit

Charles Duhigg

Ready for the next level?

Read Like a Pro

stash-superman-illustration

Explore the World’s

Best Ideas

200,000+ ideas on pretty much any topic. Created by the smartest people around & well-organized so you can explore at will.

An Idea for Everything

Explore the biggest library of insights. And we've infused it with powerful filtering tools so you can easily find what you need.

Knowledge Library

Powerful Saving & Organizational Tools

Save ideas for later reading, for personalized stashes, or for remembering it later.

# Personal Growth

Take Your Ideas

Anywhere

Organize your ideas & listen on the go. And with Pro, there are no limits.

Listen on the go

Just press play and we take care of the words.

Never worry about spotty connections

No Internet access? No problem. Within the mobile app, all your ideas are available, even when offline.

Get Organized with Stashes

Ideas for your next work project? Quotes that inspire you? Put them in the right place so you never lose them.

Join

2 Million Stashers

4.8

Stars

5,740 Reviews

App Store

4.7

Stars

72,690 Reviews

Google Play

Ashley Anthony

This app is LOADED with RELEVANT, HELPFUL, AND EDUCATIONAL material. It is creatively intellectual, yet minimal enough to not overstimulate and create a learning block. I am exceptionally impressed with this app!

samz905

Don’t look further if you love learning new things. A refreshing concept that provides quick ideas for busy thought leaders.

Sean Green

Great interesting short snippets of informative articles. Highly recommended to anyone who loves information and lacks patience.

Shankul Varada

Best app ever! You heard it right. This app has helped me get back on my quest to get things done while equipping myself with knowledge everyday.

Jamyson Haug

Great for quick bits of information and interesting ideas around whatever topics you are interested in. Visually, it looks great as well.

Ghazala Begum

Even five minutes a day will improve your thinking. I've come across new ideas and learnt to improve existing ways to become more motivated, confident and happier.

Laetitia Berton

I have only been using it for a few days now, but I have found answers to questions I had never consciously formulated, or to problems I face everyday at work or at home. I wish I had found this earlier, highly recommended!

Giovanna Scalzone

Brilliant. It feels fresh and encouraging. So many interesting pieces of information that are just enough to absorb and apply. So happy I found this.

Read & Learn

20x Faster

without
deepstash

with
deepstash

with

deepstash

Access to 200,000+ ideas

Access to the mobile app

Unlimited idea saving & library

Unlimited history

Unlimited listening to ideas

Downloading & offline access

Personalized recommendations

FAQ

Claim Your Limited Offer

Get Deepstash Pro