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The Odyssey SparkNotes Literature Guide (SparkNotes Literature Guide Series)


Hobbes would disagree with the fool and would argue that students who break the covenant of academic integrity and use Sparknotes are unwise. Hobbes believes that people who break covenants for their personal gain are short sighted because breaking covenants would likely put a person at a disadvantage in the future and would erase any trust that other people had in the person who broke the covenant.

In the example of Sparknotes the student is faced with a decision. They can take the fools route or they can take Hobbes’s route. In most classes students take some form of covenant to not use Sparknotes and other websites similar to it. If a student were to take the fools route and use Sparknotes they would be breaking the covenant for their own personal gain, and they would probably save some time and maybe get a little bit more sleep. However, they run the risk of being caught for academic misconduct and this violation can be severely punished. I have had friends who have been caught using Sparknotes for their classes and they were suspended for a day of school. Not taking that type of risk is one of the main arguments that Hobbes makes against the fool. Hobbes does not believe that the risk is worth it, and he also believes that all covenants should be kept. He argues that a person who breaks a covenant would loose trust of the people around him and that people will not make covenants with other people whom they know will break them. A student who got caught using Sparknotes would most likely lose the trust of his teachers and fellow students, which could have a negative impact on his grade. Furthermore if a teacher did not trust that a student was doing the reading and believed that instead they were using Sparknotes the teacher might give the student reading quizzes everyday. This would make the class more difficult for the student and is an example of how breaking covenants might put a person at a disadvantage in the future.


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