Examples Of Plato's Epistemology In The Allegory Of The Cave

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Plato’s Epistemology: A tale of awakened knowledge. If we are completely ignorant to the world around us, then how can we know we are in the wrong? According to Plato’s The Allegory of the Cave, the answer is simple. We don’t know we are ignorant. Plato wrote this parable as a dialogue between his brother, Glaucon, and Socrates, his former teacher. According to Plato, this particular epistemology was the ideas of Socrates, but because Socrates could not be bothered with writing his teachings down we will have to take Plato’s word for it. Many scholars would argue that the theory of forms was the work of Plato, he just chose to be the mouthpiece for Socrates. Regardless, I am glad Plato thought to write this down. I have related…show more content…
I understand much has changed since 380 BC, so it would be unusual if someone had been in a cave “dwelling since childhood, shackled by the legs and neck”. (Plato). However, it is not unusual for people to live a full life without ever stepping out of the dark, or shadows. I can certainly testify to the last statement. Plato used the prisoners in the cave as a metaphor for inexperience, or ignorance. Fortunately, I didn’t spend my first twenty-eight years living in a cave, but standing where I am now I might as well have been living underground. When I first read this story all I could think about was the prisoner and how I had been just like him. Completely satisfied and oblivious of the knowledge around…show more content…
We know this because the unrestrained prisoner later comes back for his fellow prisoners, but they can’t make sense of the freed man’s rambling. The prisoners are also alarmed when the freed man cannot make out the shadows on the wall because his eyes are not adjusted to the darkness anymore. This is true for many people who have stepped into the “light”. The more I learn, the harder I find it to have conversations with people that refuse to see anything but the shadows on the wall. It’s difficult to share my newfound knowledge with my side of the family because they are like the prisoners in the cave. People that want nothing but shadows couldn’t possibly understand the light that causes the obscurities. Not because they are incapable, but because they are unwilling. However, just like the prisoner, it is hard to stop pursuing knowledge and trying to experience new things once you’ve been brought above
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