Plato's Allegory of theCave.

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by Mindful, May 29, 2019.

  1. Mindful
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    Human beings spend all their lives in an underground cave with its mouth open towards the light. They have their legs and necks shackled so that they can only see in front of them, towards the back of the cave. Above and behind them, a fire is blazing. Between them and the fire is a low wall behind which men carry diverse statues above their heads, and the fire casts the shadows of these statues onto the back of the cave. Because the shadows are all the prisoners ever see, they suppose that they are the objects themselves.

    If a prisoner is unshackled and turned towards the light, he suffers sharp pains, but in time begins to discern the statues. He is then dragged out of the cave, where the light is so bright that he can only look at the shadows, and then at the reflections, and then finally at the objects themselves, of which the statues were but pale imitations. In time, he looks up at the sun, and understands that the sun is the cause of everything that he sees around him, of light, and sight, and the objects of sight.

    The purpose of education is to drag the prisoner as far out of the cave as possible; not merely to instil knowledge into his soul, but to turn his whole soul towards the sun, which is the Form of the Good.

    Once outside the cave, the prisoner is reluctant to go back down and involve himself in human affairs. If he will not, he must be made to go back into the cave and partake of human labours and honours, because the State aims not at the happiness of a single person or class but of all its citizens. What’s more, the escaped prisoner has a duty to give service to the State, since it was by the State that he was educated to see the light of the sun.

    'The State in which the rulers are most reluctant to govern is always the best and most quietly governed, and the State in which they are most eager, the worst… You must contrive for your future rulers another and a better life than that of a ruler, and then you may have a well ordered State; for only in the State which offers this, will they rule who are truly rich, not in silver and gold, but in virtue and wisdom, which are the true blessings of life…

    And the only life which looks down upon the life of political ambition is that of true philosophy. Do you know of any other?'


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  2. Mindful
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    Mindful Platinum Member

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    What is the metaphor in the allegory of the cave?
     
  3. Damaged Eagle
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    Our REALITY is RELATIVE with our POSITION in the immediate universe.

    We make sense of the EXTERNAL objects we perceive (with our INTERNAL senses) via our current mind/brain (developed via experiences).
     

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