Plato introduces the importance of sight and light by comparing the commonalities of the physical realm with the ideals of his higher, philosophical realm. Through a series of linear questions, he comes to the conclusion that the sun is “to the visible world in relation to sight” as “good i...
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...e light and reason be understood.
An important point in Plato’s definition of true knowledge, Plato makes the distinction between truth and the ultimate good. In the allegory of the cave, “truth [is] literally nothing but the shadows of the images”, a subjective quality that depends opinion and perspective (Book VII, p. 2). The ultimate good, however, exists universally, independent on the “use of images as in the former case, but proceeding only in and through the ideas themselves” (Book VI, p. 27). By blending the clear, discrete definitions for these terms with the uncertainty of dialectic, Plato succeeds in introducing his revolutionary ideas with clarity while also allowing the reader to consider the truth in these ideas rather than encouraging their blind acceptance.
Plato. The Republic. in the Course Reader.
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