Plato's Allegory of the Cave Essay

Plato's Allegory of the Cave Essay

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Plato is one of the most iconic authors in the history of philosophy. Even today, his words live strong in modern thinking and society. He was a highly spoken citizen of Athens (Kraut, 2013). His input in the politics and the society of Athenian life made him a major player in the success of democracy in ancient civilization (Kraut, 2013). Being one of the first real “philosophers” in history, Plato was looked up to by scholars of that time, as well as current philosophers of our time. His most influential work of writing is The Republic where he makes many assumptions while also including ideas and conversations with other thinkers of the time like Socrates and Thrasymachus (Kraut, 2013). Current and future thinkers will forever interpret Plato’s work for centuries to come.
One of the most interpreted works by Plato includes his Allegory of the Cave. This is a mental depiction of a cave with prisoners chained inside of it. The prisoners face the wall and watch as shadows are cast upon it. What is casting the shadows are the puppets that are being enlightened by “the Fire”. Plato believes that living the “just life” is the idea of breaking out of the chains that the “prisoners” wear and discovering “the Fire”, which is an analogy for being enlightened, then coming back to enlighten those who are still chained and imprisoned then teaching them what you just uncovered in order for them to “see the Fire”. He believes that in doing this, you would be educating those who would not know where to look for enlightenment. The “Prisoners” view of reality is that of which they see on the wall. Plato describes philosophers as those who escape from the chains and see the bigger picture of reality. He also thinks that philosophers can differen...


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...ss mixed up and that the time is under the line and timeless is above it (Fraser, 1990). Fraser has less to pick apart on Plato’s Cave, and more to pick apart about his theory of knowledge.
Many different people of all kinds of levels of study have interpreted Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. The Cave has been the center point for philosophers trying to discover the reason to enlighten. Interpretations have varied of the Cave, but most of them have stayed on track and similar to the original message that Plato was trying to depict. Even today we see the relevance of The Cave in society. Although the Allegory of the Cave is a small portion of The Republic, it stands as one of the most influential parts of past and modern philosophy. Plato will be relevant for years to come and future scholars and thinkers will review his works in order to become enlightened themselves.

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