Plato's "Allegory of the Cave" presents a vision of humans as slaves chained in front of a fire observing the shadows of things on the cave wall in front of them. The shadows are the only "reality" the slaves know. Plato argues that there is a basic flaw in how we humans mistake our limited perceptions as reality, truth and goodness. The allegory reveals how that flaw affects our education, our spirituality and our politics.
The flaw that Plato speaks about is trusting as real, what one sees - believing absolutely that what one sees is true. In The Allegory of the Cave, the slaves in the caves know that the shadows, thrown on the wall by the fire behind them, are real. If they were to talk to the shadows echoes would make the shadows appear to talk back. To the slaves "the truth would be literally nothing but the shadows of the images." (Jacobus 316).
In the allegory, a slave is then brought out of the cave, in what Plato refers to as "he ascent of the soul into the intellectual world" (Jacobus 319). Once out of the cave the slave discovers that what he thought was real is not. He learns to comprehend all of these new images as real and true. Since he has been in the dark, both literally and metaphorically, the light blinds him.
Representing knowledge, the light is too brilliant for him to see and comprhend. He must be re-educated. "First he will see the shadows best, next the reflections of the men and other objects? then the objects themselves" (Jacobus 317). He learns that the reflections are truer than shadows and the objects truer than reflections. He must deal with a new reality that does not exist within the cave.
Plato says that these people who a...
... middle of paper ...
...ary friend when we are younger. Our imaginary friend is very real to us, but as we get older or make the ascent to the world of knowledge, we reject our imaginary friends. We are faced with a different reality where we start to believe that what our eyes show us is the only truth. We forget to question things and don't realize that maybe there is yet another ascent, out of this bigger "cave" of the light.
Human beings' knowledge of goodness, reality, and truth will always be limited by our fear of new ideas and new perspectives. As long as we are afraid of questioning, we will be willing to "put to death" anyone who ascends and returns to the cave with the truth.
Corinthians II, The New Jerusalem Bible. Henry Wansbrough, gen. ed. New York:
Jacobus, Lee A. A World of Ideas. 7th Edition Boston: Bedford/St. Martins. 2006.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Analysis of Plato's Allegory of the Cave Plato's "Allegory of the Cave" presents a vision of humans as slaves chained in front of a fire observing the shadows of things on the cave wall in front of them. The shadows are the only "reality" the slaves know. Plato argues that there is a basic flaw in how we humans mistake our limited perceptions as reality, truth and goodness. The allegory reveals how that flaw affects our education, our spirituality and our politics. The flaw that Plato speaks about is trusting as real, what one sees - believing absolutely that what one sees is true.... [tags: Papers Plato Allegory Perspectives Essays]
983 words (2.8 pages)
- An Analysis of "The Allegory of the Cave" by Plato The Allegory of the Cave is Plato's explanation of the education of the soul toward enlightenment. He sees it as what happens when someone is educated to the level of philosopher. He contends that they must "go back into the cave" or return to the everyday world of politics, greed and power struggles. The Allegory also attacks people who rely upon or are slaves to their senses. The chains that bind the prisoners are the senses. The fun of the allegory is to try to put all the details of the cave into your interpretation.... [tags: Philosophy Plato]
5691 words (16.3 pages)
- Assignment Using a Source for "Allegory of the Cave" by Plato INTRODUCTION In the story of "Allegory of the Cave", Plato illustrates his concerning on humanity and education. By the meaning of "Allegory of the Cave", we understand the effect of education on us. Most of the people ignore the importance of teaching, and they seek to learn the knowledge of the book or other materials. Therefore, they don 't care the truth or ignore it, which leads the truth far from us. "Indeed, the very principle that education ought to be more concerned with drawing out various human potentials than with only depositing information into students owes its origin to Plato" (Burch 7).... [tags: Education, Truth, Ideology, Psychology]
933 words (2.7 pages)
- What is reality. What education means to it. There are lots of question for the education in today’s life. One of the story, “Allegory of the Cave” by Plato is the best way to express the ideas of the education in real. Students as well as elders believe that the education is the only way to stand in the society. That is false. Just the education is not helpful to a student in daily life because the studies or subjects they will study will not prepare them for a challenging life, they will also need general knowledge.... [tags: Education, Student, Reality, Psychology]
1110 words (3.2 pages)
- knowledge. What is reality. These are the philosophical concepts that many renowned philosophers have concentrated on for centuries. One of these philosophers who was particularly concerned with this question was Plato. In an attempt to answer these questions, he wrote the “Allegory of the Cave” using the metaphor of the allegory to contrast reality with true enlightenment. Plato uses the dark of ignorance and the light of the accent into true knowledge to paint a picture of an individual’s rise to the understanding of true reality.... [tags: Knowledge, Light, Philosophy]
794 words (2.3 pages)
- As stated by Wachowskis the Matrix is a contemporary adaptation of “Allegory of the Cave” by Plato. The similarity can simply be seen between the prisoners in the cave and the people that live in the Matrix. As the wall in the cave depicts the life that people in the matrix have, nothing is truly real but to the eye of the spectator it is. If one grows up in a world that seems to be authentic they will adapt to the environment, which will make it very difficult to escape, that is why when Neo was pulled out of the Matrix he couldn’t accept what he perceived, this brings another point of comparison that Neo can be compared to the hypothetical prisoner that escapes the cave.... [tags: Morpheus, The Matrix, Simulated reality, Reality]
825 words (2.4 pages)
- Yasmin Bansal HZT4U0 Ms. Mitchell March 6th, 2015 Perception of Truth As people, we tend to believe everything we see. Do we ever take the time to stop and think about what is around us. Is it reality, or are we being deceived. Reality is not necessarily what is in front of us, or what is presented to us. The environment that we are placed or brought up has a great impact on what we perceive to be the truth or perceive to be reality. Plato’s Allegory of the Cave is one of the most significant attempts to explain the nature of reality.... [tags: Reality television, The Truman Show, Reality]
1280 words (3.7 pages)
- Response: What is Plato’s Point in “Allegory of the Cave”. At some point in our lives, everyone has asked themselves some version of the same questions: What is “reality”, in conjunction with what determines our perception of reality, and what am I supposed to do with (or about) it. Throughout “Allegory of the Cave,” Plato attempts to answer these questions. Plato’s “The Allegory of the Cave,” suggests that humans have a constrained view of the world, and that there are two different perceptions of reality, a "bodily eye” and a “mind’s eye.” The “mind’s eye”, the hypothetical site of visual recollection or imagination, is a higher level of thinking.... [tags: Perception, Sense, Truth, Knowledge]
1141 words (3.3 pages)
- One of the world’s most revered philosophers, Plato, was born in 428 BC. As a young man, Plato, became a devout student of Socrates. Plato quickly adopted Socrates’ teachings and turned his studies toward the question of virtue and noble character. After the execution of his beloved mentor, Plato founded the first English university called the Academy. He wanted thinkers to have a place were they could word toward better government for Greek cities. Over the duration of his life Plato wrote many books, and his most influential work is The Republic.... [tags: The Republic, Plato]
582 words (1.7 pages)
- In The Republic, Plato introduces a philosophy that transcends the exclusivity of the contemplative and the active lives. He defines the ultimate truth as “aletheia”, which literally translates to mean “unhidden” or “that which does not remain unnoticed”. Through his use of the term and his allegory of the cave, Plato makes the strong implication that philosophers must actively seek to discover the absolute truth, rather than relying on traditional methods of contemplation and the persuasive tone of rhetoric to prove its existence.... [tags: Greek Literature]
1134 words (3.2 pages)