preview

The Allegory Of The Cave In Plato's The Republic

Powerful Essays
Man despises few things more than being told of their own ignorance. While one can understand that they do not know all there is to know, they will refuse to understand that their knowledge of the world is counterfeit. Indeed, dissent breeds contempt in those who, out of stubbornness, cannot fathom the possibility that their view of reality is merely an illusory fantasy. This stubbornness stems from comfort resulting from a lifelong cycle of acceptance, validation, and internalization. It follows then that when one senses an attack on this cycle by encountering stimuli that runs counter to their beliefs, they respond defensively (or simply ignore the stimuli). Few people can rise above the comfort in their supposed full understanding of the world. Those who possess this ability can learn that rising above their comfort allows them to see a truer reality. Upon seeing this, the magnitude of their previous misunderstandings become apparent, and they vow to “save” others from a false reality. In essence, this is the ethical model that Plato suggests in his work The Republic. Plato’s allegory of the cave serves as a model for an ethical theory that creates a uniting principle, the form of…show more content…
In Plato’s top-down ethical model, knowledge of the form of the good enables one to understand all good beneath it. A legislator knowledgeable of the form of the good understands what laws are good because the laws possess the form of the good. So, in this view, the legislator’s authority to create laws are based around his ability to know what good is. Their knowledge is directly based on their contemplation: “you will recognize what each image is, and what is original, because you have seen the truth of which beautiful and just things are copies” (P, 107). A sort of meritocratic sense arises from this view as those with the knowledge of the good deserve the authority to tell others how to
Get Access