Home Discussion Forum How would Confucius answer the Gyges ring dilemma from Plato's Republic?

How would Confucius answer the Gyges ring dilemma from Plato's Republic?

If a man found a magical ring that could turn him invisible and thus allow him to get away with anything, why would he not act in the most selfish way possible?
Keep in mind: Confucius’s view of human nature
The differences in virtuous and vicious people (is one life better than the other?)
If Gyges were a gentleman, how would he use the ring? Would he do the same as in The Republic?


  1. If you become invisible, then you also become blind. For light will pass through you, as well as through your eyes.
    I myself am not Confucius. I have not studied him well. I do not know how he would solve it. sorry.

  2. If misbehavior were the plague, you wouldn’t DARE misbehave would you? Well to Confucius, those who misbehave draw towards each other and those who behave draw to each other, almost like karma, but with INTENT. So a Confucian who misbehaved because he could with impunity, would draw himself into the world of negative behavior, because of his lack of self-control. Of course, much like Gyges, his good behavior would go completely unnoticed, but unlike Gyges, he doesn’t do good behavior for the esteem of others.

  3. Confucius said….
    If I am walking with two other men, each of them will serve as my teacher.
    I will pick out the good points of the one and imitate them and, the bad points of the other to correct them in myself.
    Whether the Gyges know how or not to use the ring. Their actions would judge themselves someday.


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