PHI 1101 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Tim Hortons, Thrasymachus, Glaucon
SchoolUniversity of Ottawa
Course CodePHI 1101
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Unit 2 and 3 : Models Answers for Test 2
Thrasymachus’s Definition of Justice
Set out the premises and conclusion of Thrasymachus’s argument for his definition of justice in
standard form. Socrates has two options if he wishes to refute Thrasymachus’s position. What are
they? Which does he choose?
P1 : The stronger are the rulers
P2 : The rulers make the laws
P3 : The rulers make the laws to their own
P4 : The laws constitute what is just.
C : Justice is the advantage of the stronger
Socrates’s two options to refute Thrasymachus’s position are asking :
1. Is the argument logically strong? An argument is logically strong when the premises, if true,
actually provide support for the conclusion or make it reasonable to believe the conclusion is
2. Is the argument sound? An argument is sound if it is logically strong and has true premises.
Socrates chooses to ask if the argument is sound. He asks if P3 is true.
BONUS: IS THRASYMACHUS’S ARGUMENT SOUND?
● Response should be: logical, relevant, and well expressed
● Supported by reasons (argue for your position)
○ Consider if your arguments are true (argument sound?) or if they are true, do they make it
reasonable to believe your conclusion is true (argument strong?)
Glaucon thinks the term good
is semantically ambiguous. Set out, explain, and give examples of the
different meanings Glaucon ascribes to it.
Glaucon thinks that good can have the following meanings:
→ It can mean intrinsically good. In this case, it is desirable in itself apart from the its
consequences, like reading for pleasure.
→ It can mean instrumentally good. In this case, it is desirable only because of its
consequences, like bad tasting medicine.
→ Or it can be both intrinsically and instrumentally good. In this case, it is desirable
both for its own sake and because of its consequences, like being healthy.
Identify the kind of ambiguity in each of the following sentences. Explain your answer (by
). State the different ways in which each sentence can be interpreted. (4
THE MOTHERS APPEALED
TO THE PRINCIPAL.
This sentence is semantically ambiguous.
Semantic ambiguity arises from possible multiple meanings of terms used.
In this case, the term “appeal to” can refer to two different actions: asking for help or being
The sentence could be interpreted as meaning either the mothers asked the principal for help,
or the principal found the mothers attractive.
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