The Greatest Happiness Principle

  1. In your own words and citing examples from the text, explain Glaucon’s views about how the just and unjust person would act if given the power of the Ring of Gyges, and how this relates to the work of another author from our readings.
  2. In your own words and citing examples from the text, explain what John Stuart Mill means by “The Greatest Happiness Principle” and how this view relates to the work of another author from our readings.
  3. In your own words and citing examples from the text, explain the role of reason in David Hume’s concept of morality and how this relates to the work of another author from our readings.
  4. In your own words and citing examples from the text, explain the relation between Kant’s Categorical Imperative and good maxims, then demonstrate how this relates to the work of another author from our readings.
  5. In your own words and citing examples from the text, explain Nietzsche’s distinction between Master Morality and Slave Morality and how this concept relates to the work of another author from our readings.


Your submissions will be graded on the following criteria:

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Coherence to the Topic (5 pts)
Clarity of Argument (5 pts)
Critical Insight (10 pts)

Assignment Rules (Things you might be penalized for):

Your paper must contain specific references to specific passages from at least 2 different readings from our course.

While your choice of citation style and/or obedience to its formal rules are not important in this assignment, all quotes must include an in-text citation indicating page number. Your answer should be in the form of a single 1,500 word essay responding directly to the chosen prompt. Large block quotes, repeating the prompt, cover pages, bibliographies, ect… do not count towards the word requirement.

While your focus should be on the text itself, you may explore the ways in which the passage relates to other readings we have encountered in the course or any outside material (books, movies, current events, ect) that you find relevant.

Websites like Wikipedia, MyCourseHero, Sparknotes should not be used. I do not need you to summarize the summaries available on the internet. College level writing necessarily means directly engaging with the source material.

The use of academic sources like The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy or The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy are encouraged, but should compliment your own reading of the original material rather than replace it.

Any works you use other than the assigned text, even if not cited directly, must be included in a bibliography.  Please do not just give links for web sources, since I will not be clicking on links. You must provide enough information that I can track down your reference in a reasonable amount of time.

Note: Please use 12 pt Times New Roman fonts, double spaced paragraphs and reasonable page margins.





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