College Essay Examples

Possible Descriptive Section Questions


  1. Why Socrates is compared to gadfly: Socrates is compared to a gadfly because he buzzes and bites at the self-satisfied. This indebts Athens to consider matters of virtue, as he believes that the gods have sent him to the Athenian state. Where he brushes off the informal charges and denies them because he knows they are not true. He does this by studying five terms. When it comes to the horse, the gadfly has an important role in awakening it from its slumber. Socrates believes that he has to poke and prod persons and organizations that think they are smart. The government serves a role for him, and he wants to utilize it.
  2. Why Socrates is compared to a torpedo fish: In Plato’s dialogue Meno, Socrates is referred to as the torpedo fish because he tends shocking people with his baffling inquiries. If you tread on an electric ray (torpedo fish), you will be paralyzed. It helps us understand that learning, according to Socrates, is not a question of acquiring new knowledge but rather a matter of recalling what the soul already knows. Meno’s slave boy is called over to demonstrate what he means. He draws a square with edges of two feet and asks the boy to determine how long a square’s side would be if it had two times the surface area that the square the kid just drew has. Socrates disproves the boy’s claims of four feet and three feet. When the youngster realizes that a square with twice the size has sides equal to the diagonal of the existing square, Socrates doesn’t explain anything but rather forces him to work out the issue on his own. There must have been something familiar about this topic that he remembered, as this conclusion was made without any direct instruction.
  3. Why Socrates is compared to a midwife: Socrates felt that the essential concerns in life were concealed deep inside us, and this process of uncovering the truth was like a midwife helping a woman in labor carry her child into the world. To describe himself as the “midwife of ideas,” he coined the term. This enables us to understand the idea of intelligent midwifery that conveys other men’s thoughts to birth. It is theoretical or definitional in that it arrays as an objective of understanding the gaining of ideas, such as the moral. 

Sensory Imagery in Abbott’s State-Raised Convict

  1. Socrates “What is X?”  

When Socrates questioned, “What is x?” he sparked a revolution in philosophy. Moral or artistic aspects are often discussed in these contexts, including justice, wisdom, courage, temperance, beauty. “Socratic” (early) discussions by Plato focus on these problems. A “Socratic definition?” is a response to the “What is X?” inquiry. As opposed to words, Socratic definitions are based on objects. To understand justice, Socrates does not want to know what the term “justice” means, but rather what it means to be. Definitions via the Socratic Method are, therefore, accurate descriptions of their subject matter. In other words, definitions might be true or untrue. The importance of Socrates’ definitions is that they are unbiased. Socrates was against the Sophists’ moral relativism. That there were objective principles that might be established; that there were right and incorrect solutions to moral dilemmas that transcended popular feeling was what he believed to be the truth. They are the building blocks of understanding. According to Socrates, if you don’t know what something is, you can’t answer additional questions about it. As a result, every discussion of morality must begin with a response to the “What is X?” issue. In addition to the fact that there is a response, the inquirer must also have it. According to Socrates, Defining morality isn’t a function of what individuals believe. A poll cannot tell you what morality, justice, or purity is. The morality of a certain object or person is also not a question of personal preference. Voting is not the best way to determine if something or someone is good, fair, or holy.

Socrates primarily argues this in our part of Apology: Educating Athenians on the need to nurture one’s spirit via the pursuit of knowledge is his primary responsibility (truth and goodness).  Socrates’ mission was to convince Athenians that the most important thing in life was to become the finest and smartest person they could be by cultivating virtue. Why? The tangible world fades away, but your spirit will never. (I’ll get to it in a moment) Good and ill are mutually exclusive, and only good may come from those who know and practice virtue; hence, the virtuous spirit is the source of all good, and all good flows from virtue. Philosophy as the way to virtue (this may be the most important point in this part of Apology). As a result, one must know what virtue is before cultivating and practicing it. It’s important to keep in mind that virtue is the result of understanding or knowledge. To be a good philosopher, one must be a sincere lover of virtue, and true knowledge is the only way to achieve this goal. It does not know what you don’t know, as defined by him that constitutes wisdom. It’s important to remember that wisdom is a process of questioning; unchallenged assumptions are just beliefs, not facts; a “thought” that you can back up with evidence is only an idea, but it’s not knowledge.


As a result, justice is a citizen’s feeling of duty. In Plato’s view, justice is both a virtue and a means of bringing people together in society. Goodness and social responsibility have the same characteristic. Justice is to the soul what good health is to the body: it is an order and a responsibility for the components of the soul. Plato makes a move and switches from one book to the other because. He wants to explain his technique in the Republic by defining the basic idea of social fairness and then developing an equivalent idea of individual fairness. In Books IV, III, and II, Plato defines administrative fairness as a state of harmonious cohesion in a governing body. Society is perfect when the relationships between its three primary classes—producers and artisans and farmers, auxiliaries, and guardians (rulers), are fair. For any group to be effective, it must serve a specific purpose and be in a position of strength relative to the others. Rulers must govern, auxiliaries must maintain the beliefs of the rulers, and producers must confine themselves to the abilities that nature has bestowed upon them. Individuals must play their roles in society following their nature, and they must not intervene in the affairs of others.


Thrasymachus makes three remarks on justice: no justice can exist until the most powerful person has an edge. In the second place, justice is adherence to the law, and justice is actually a matter of power in the third place.   Glaucon claimed that committing an injustice is inherently desirable, but the law might compel you to do the opposite if you don’t comply with it. Justice, according to Glaucon, is a terrible thing, whereas injustice is a desirable thing. To be unfair, you have to provide someone the ability to do so without repercussions; otherwise, everyone would. Humans are greedy and unfair by nature; therefore, justice is not a virtue in and of itself; rather, justice is a result of justice (it is only valued for the beneficial consequences). Using the myth of The Ring of Gyges, Glaucon demonstrated that justice is ultimately self-interested. Thrasymachus bolstered Glaucon’s reasoning and said that people are only just because of its advantages, such as a good reputation. As an initial response to Glaucon and Thrasymachus’ question, Plato offers his theory of Platonic justice, which holds that the soul is divided into three parts, each with a distinct role and that justice is achieved when each component performs its job in isolation from the others. Plato said that justice is a trait of the soul that allows people to put aside their illogical desire for all the pleasures life offers to devote themselves to serving others.


Plato believed in the possibility of discovering truths and gaining knowledge. Furthermore, he believed that truth is not relative as the Sophists maintained. That which our reason correctly apprehends instead is objective. He built a forceful denial of skepticism, believing that we lack knowledge in some basic sense via his systematic philosophy. True statements must be based on facts since truth is objective. In Plato’s view, these actual entities are Forms. We can only know them via logic because of their nature. There is nothing in the universe that exists without forms. As a result, they have a greater impact than their specifics. It is via the study of the Forms that we can comprehend the particulars. The Forms may also be contemplated by extrapolating from specifics. Reason’s workings allow for this kind of extrapolation. The forms included the allegory of the cave.

Among other things, Plato’s Allegory of the Cave shows how we might use our reason to discover the Forms. Secondly, he talks of Immortality, Morality, and the Soul. According to Plato, the soul is eternal. Philosophical activity prepares the soul for a pleasant death and afterlife in Plato’s dialogues, particularly the Phaedo, which he discusses. Socrates uses Meno’s notion of recall as one of his justifications for the soul’s immortality, along with other examples. There is no greater microcosm of society than the person. Individuals fulfill their roles according to their most prominent aspects of the soul or human nature: appetizing, enthusiastic, and sensible, respectively, in a harmonious condition. The most motivated by their appetite is a producer, whereas the most energetic person is an auxiliary. The most sensible person is the guardian. All of society’s workers and artisans are producers; all of society’s warriors and police are auxiliary; all of society is protected by its leaders, rulers, or philosopher-kingdoms.

Possible Critical Section Questions


Apology places Socrates on trial for offenses he has not perpetrated. Socrates does not dread death since he feels it may be one of the greatest benefits of the soul, and he believes this because he is innocent. There is no need to dread death for a person like Socrates, who has led a morally upright life. Socrates argues that since only the gods understand what is beyond it, one should not be afraid when it comes to fearing death. He says he likes everyone else who had been told to stay at his position by those who had decided to command him, remained there at the danger of his own life until gods ordered him, as he thought and prayed, to live a life of philosophy. To be afraid of death is nothing more than thinking oneself smart when one is not or believing that one knows something one doesn’t. To be seen as a person of good moral integrity, they would be considered respectable yet not arrogant. Virtuous Socrates would not be afraid of being overestimated since he would not believe he was smarter than he was. He further elaborated with an example of an old person who has seen the loss of loved ones before them may not be afraid of death because they feel they are deserving of an eternity. But on the opposite hand, their faith in an afterlife may be a result of realizing they had no way of understanding what’s on “the other side” and that seeing their departed loved ones in death would be a gift. In the words of Socrates, “If it is a total loss of awareness, like an unbroken slumber, then mortality would be a wonderful benefit.” I’m not afraid of dying for the same reasons.

Conservatism Versus Liberalism


Ideal State Form: When Socrates proposed the existence of ideal Forms, Plato says he conceded they could not be known. His philosophical assumptions did not fit his depiction of that universe, but he still came up with a very detailed account of it. Our world is a shadow of the true one, just as the universe of Forms is a shadow of itself. Our reality is “the progeny of the good” in the same way that shadows exist solely due to a fire’s light. The Forms are the blueprints for our reality. The role of people in our world is thus to try as much as practicable to emulate the ideal world, which, most crucially, means behaving ethically. In the “Republic,” Plato addresses a wide range of issues, including the ideal state’s constitution, as he tries to define justice. A hypothesis called recalls allows us to create well-founded ideas about the Forms, even though they don’t exist on Earth since their imitations do. The recall and the form of the Good create. The phrase “founding,” which is employed in the context of colonialism, is critical to not knowing how such a state may come into being. In such cases, lawgivers were usually elected or appointed, although lawgivers were sometimes appointed to modify the constitution in Athens. As in the case of Forms, which exist outside of substance, Socrates employs “purge” to describe the process of reform. It is necessary to preserve three non-hereditary groups in the cleansed society, namely the businessmen, the guardians, and the philosophers, who rule over it. Following completion of schooling, students are placed in occupational classes by the state. Plato believes class to be inherited, but he permits for mobility based on one’s innate abilities. When selecting candidates, academics consider the ability to recognize forms and fighting attitudes and a tendency or aptitude.

His ideas may explain the Athenians’ antipathy against Socrates about social order, whether they were intended or not, were in direct opposition to those of the period. The ownership of women and the propagation of children will follow the basic idea that friends have all things in common. Consequently, the family is being eliminated, favoring state-appointed mentors raising all children, regardless of their biological parents.


Plato’s Concept of Forms articulates that the natural ecosphere is not the actual sphere; relatively, definitive authenticity resides outside our natural universe. In the Realm of Forms, there are abstract, flawless, and unchanging notions or ideals known as the Forms. According to Plato, two worlds exist the physical and spiritual realms, and they are distinct. Our everyday lives revolve around the physical world, which is always evolving and flawed, as we understand all too well. Although the physical world is a part of the spiritual world, it is not the same. The Domain of Forms is Plato’s name for this divine realm, known as the Realm of Concepts. As stated by Plato in his Model of Forms, the physical sphere is nothing more than a replication of the Realm of Forms. According to Plato, what are these “forms”? The Realm of Forms contains the abstract, perfect, and unchanging conceptions or ideals known as the Forms. Even if the Forms are conceptual, they are nonetheless real. Even more so than any tangible item, the Forms are much more real than anyone. To put it another way, notions such as crimson, round, beautiful, just, or good are Forms. An individual thing like a crimson book or a spherical ball is merely a distinct illustration of the Forms that exist in the physical world. A type of karma. Recalling the Positive leads to good deeds, which in turn inspires others to do the same.


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By Hanna Robinson

Hanna has won numerous writing awards. She specializes in academic writing, copywriting, business plans and resumes. After graduating from the Comosun College's journalism program, she went on to work at community newspapers throughout Atlantic Canada, before embarking on her freelancing journey.

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