• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explain Plato's Analogy of the Cave

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

13th September 2012 Plato?s Analogy of the Cave Plato is in fact one of the most famous Ancient and studied philosophers to walk this very earth. According to planet facts, ?Plato? is actually not his real name. The name Plato is derived from the Greek language. In the English language Plato translates to: broad. The nickname ?Plato? suggests that it?s an allusion to the broad wide scope of knowledge and philosophical depth that Plato has accumulated during his years. In his book: ?The Republic? he sums up his views in regards to the analogy of the cave. Plato uses the analogy of the cave in order to personify and illustrate abstract ideologies he has, in regards to the life of forms. He uses symbolism to convey his ideologies although sometimes the analogy of the cave can be taken literally by mistake. Plato?s intentions are to deliberately express his ideologies in a symbolic manner in order to lead for philosophers to think of the analogy of the cave in many different perspectives. ...read more.

Middle

These shadows are mistakenly viewed by the prisoners as reality. In the same way for example: the media presents stereotypes of different groups in society and some people in society take the representations as the only truth and do not question its authenticity. The prisoners believe that these shadows are authentic things and are forced to believe the shadows alone are reality as they have no other truth. The shadows are in fact a representative of objects in the physical world and they are also the source of truth. The analogy of the sun is used to represent that the sun enlightens people to the real world and in effect is the source of all other forms. Plato believes that the shadows are just an imitation of the appearing world and that the real world can be accessed with sufficient spiritual knowledge. In some ways the shadows foreshadow the option of freedom being open but being ignored by the chained prisoners as they may fear the revelation of the Truth and not the ?truth? they are used to. ...read more.

Conclusion

The reaction of the current prisoners to the escaped prisoners is unpleasant in which suggests they fear being challenged, fear change and fear truth. The thought of everything they?ve ever known being claimed to be false may make them rebel in order to protect their beliefs and emotions. The fact that the prisoner returns to the cave suggests that once you?ve discovered reality of the truth you cannot go back to your previous ignorant state because it is difficult to go back and pretend that everything is rosy and normal. Once the truth is revealed everything in effect changes. The escaped man is actually a symbol of philosophers. He suggests they represent philosophical enlightenment and the eventual realisation that the forms are the way to the truth. He believes philosophers see the real world and therefore have the means to true knowledge. If so then this could lead to the conclusion that the cave is actually the unreal world. The escaped man also suggests that we will all eventually overcome false appearance and be connected with reality which awaits us somewhere. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Philosophy essays

  1. Compare, contrast and evaluate Plato and Mill on the relationship between individual and society

    Plato on the other hand banned loud laughter. Mill would argue that this repression is an infringement of basic human rights, and the suppression of individual development and human flourishing will do nothing but hinder the development and progression of mankind.

  2. Explain Plato's use of the metaphor of the shadows in his analogy of the ...

    Along this path, the jailers move, carrying objects and going about their daily routine. The light from the fire casts shadows on the wall in front of the captives, and it is these shadows which the prisoners take to be reality.

  1. What is the Truth

    To tell the truth you have to know what the truth is. The definition of truth is "Conformity to fact or actuality" what this means is that a person who is telling the truth must not elaborate or use any adjectives to describe a situation they must state facts.

  2. Plato used the analogy of the cave to criticise the unphilosophical and to 'get ...

    We can imagine there being a 'form of the horse' to which the objects in the real world refer to. Does the single form refer to all objects, or does each object have its own form? If the single form of the horse is perfect, are the varieties of horses

  1. Explain the Analogy of the Cave in Platos Republic

    Through developing the skill of reason then can the philosopher hope to appreciate genuine truth of reality. b) ?The Analogy of the Cave tells us nothing about reality.? Discuss. Plato came up with his analogy of the cave to explain his philosophy about reality and this allowed people to comprehend

  2. The analogy of the cave teaches us that in life people only like to ...

    Everyone begins at the cognitive level of imagination. We each begin our lives deep within in the cave, with our head and legs bound, and education is the struggle to move us far out of the cave as possible. However not everyone can make it all the way out, this is what makes everyone different, different out looks

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work