Plato’s Allegory of the Cave and The Matrix Essay

Plato’s Allegory of the Cave and The Matrix Essay

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The Republic is considered to be one of Plato’s most storied legacies. Plato recorded many different philosophical ideals in his writings. Addressing a wide variety of topics from justice in book one, to knowledge, enlightenment, and the senses as he does in book seven. In his seventh book, when discussing the concept of knowledge, he is virtually addressing the cliché “seeing is believing”, while attempting to validate the roots of our knowledge. By his use of philosophical themes, Plato is able to further his points on enlightenment, knowledge, and education. In this allegory, the depictions of humans as they are chained, their only knowledge of the world is what is seen inside the cave. Plato considers what would happen to people should they embrace the concepts of philosophy, to become enlightened by it, to see things as they truly are. As we have mentioned in class, Plato’s theory did not only present itself in his allegory, but also in the Wachowski brothers’ hit-film, The Matrix. In the film, the protagonist, Neo, suffers from a similar difficulty of adapting to reality, or the truth, which we will see later on. In order to understand Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, one must consider how Plato’s used of symbols to explain what true knowledge (or enlightenment) really is along the comparisons to the Wachowski brothers’ film, The Matrix.
Plato’s concept of The Allegory of the Cave is an idea based on his theory of forms. The theory argues that our knowledge of reality/forms is not real knowledge; only our knowledge of these forms can be considered as real knowledge. The Allegory of the Cave was a conversation between Glaucon and Socrates. Socrates was explaining the cave to Glaucon. There’s a group of prisoners who ...


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...rison to the allegory, one can best grasp the concept of knowledge and how the Sun and our senses guide our education. The concept of our knowledge being a result of our surroundings in the world, rather than a text book, is simply fascinating. How would those who questioned our Earth being round rather than the earlier beliefs of it being flat without believing that there is more than what is seen. The Wright brothers were considered heretics because they had believed man could fly. It was by asking questions that they could not have known to be true, that promotes progress and development in the world. To be able to ask questions in a Socratic fashion, to question what one does not know, is learning. Plato was truly a man well before his time, as he was able to ask the questions that were deemed most difficult in an age where religion dominated knowledge.

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