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Explain Plato's Analogy of the Cave

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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.


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.


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.

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