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Grossmont Community College Dysfunctional Souls in View of Socrates Discussion

Assignment Overview

Having reviewed the content for this unit, students will make an online submission of their response to the assignment topics below.


  • The number of points possible are listed on the Rubric below.
  • Look at the Rubric to see how your essay is to be evaluated.
  • Click the Blue Submit button to begin your essay in the box. When done Click save at the bottom.
  • If you are doing a file upload, use (pdf, doc, docx) . If using a Mac, export pages to a PDF file and then click the blue submit assignment button.
  • The assignment is to be 2-3 pages in length (approx. 350 words per page) using standard 12″ font size with 1.5 spacing.
  • You may use bullet lists sparingly for only part of your essay. Any late assignments will receive partial credit and must be turned in before advancing to the next week.
  • If you have any problems with submission call the student help line in Canvas from the global menu on the bottom left.

Topics & Prompts

this comparison/contrast essay will involve two parts.

On Page One: BK II of Plato’s Republic

Socrates says that ‘Morality is an inner condition of the soul’. Discuss what he means by this and choose some of the following prompts to respond to.

    • What are the three types of Good?
    • What account is given concerning the origin of Justice?
    • List and describe the 3 part of the soul.
    • List and discuss the virtues and how they are produced in the soul?
    • What is meant by a functional and dysfunctional soul?
    • According to the selection, why should we be moral (Just)

On Page Two: Ethical Egoism Compare & contrast Hobbes position to either Ayn Rand or James Rachels.

According to Thomas Hobbes, “True moral philosophy is a science of natural law.”

    • What does Hobbes mean by the above expression and how does he justify it?
    • How does it impact man’s natural state and condition?
    • How does Hobbes position on natural law compare to Ayn Rand notion of a “code of values”
    • Would Ayn Rand agree with Hobbes about the need for a social contract & submission to an arbitrator?
    • Plato’s Cave Allegory

      Assignment Questions

      The story below is taken from Book Vll of Plato’s most important work called The Republic. It is retold to us in a clear and almost verbatim account by Orson Wells. As you are viewing the film consider some of the following questions. Exposure to this content now is important to get an idea of Plato’s notion of the Good. In this story you will see both the elements of mythical imagery and the theoretical logos of the Greek Naturalist combined to take us to a new level of understanding things that will be hallmark of Socrates & Plato. So, view, enjoy and consider.

      • In what way is the prisoner’s condition in the cave similar to our own condition at the start of our lives?
      • When he is released and suddenly forced to turn around what does he experience and come to realize about his former state in relation to his condition now?
      • When he first makes his way to the outside, what does he experience, and how is this analogous or similar to the earlier condition he experienced when forced to turn around?
      • Why does the adjustment take time and what does he come to realize about his former belief concerning the nature of things and their cause?
      • Finally consider the Sun. What is its relation to the things he has come to understand as being true? How is this new awareness different from his former vision of things and from his understanding of how they were caused?
      • Why does he return to the cave from which he left, and at what cost? Do some of us never get out of the cave; why?


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