Allegory of the Cave - Wikipedia
Sep 18, The Allegory of the Cave is Plato's best-known work, and an extended metaphor Socrates tells Glaucon to imagine people living in a great. May 14, Plato's allegory of the cave is one of the best-known, most insightful In the dialogue, Socrates asks Glaucon to imagine a cave, in which. The dialogue between Socrates and Glaucon is probably fictitious and The dialogue between Socrates and Glaucon is probably fictitious and composed by Plato, but is unclear if the Allegory originated with Socrates or Plato In the dialogue Socrates asks Glaucon to imagine a cave where Share this link with a friend.
If he were told that what he is seeing is real instead of the other version of reality he sees on the wall, he would not believe it. In his pain, Plato continues, the freed prisoner would turn away and run back to what he is accustomed to that is, the shadows of the carried objects. First he can only see shadows.
Plato's Allegory Of The Cave Says You're A Prisoner of Your Senses
Gradually he can see the reflections of people and things in water and then later see the people and things themselves. Eventually, he is able to look at the stars and moon at night until finally he can look upon the sun itself a. Plato concludes that the prisoners, if they were able, would therefore reach out and kill anyone who attempted to drag them out of the cave a. The cave represents the superficial world for the prisoners.
The chains that prevent the prisoners from leaving the cave represent ignorance, meaning the chains are stopping them from learning the truth. The shadows that cast on the walls of the cave represent the superficial truth, which is an illusion that the prisoners see in the cave. The freed prisoner represents those in society who see the physical world for the illusion that it is.
Allegory of the Cave
The sun that is glaring the eyes of the prisoners represents the real truth of the actual world. Only knowledge of the Forms constitutes real knowledge or what Socrates considers "the good". Those who have ascended to this highest level, however, must not remain there but must return to the cave and dwell with the prisoners, sharing in their labors and honors.
Plato's Phaedo contains similar imagery to that of the allegory of the Cave; a philosopher recognizes that before philosophy, his soul was "a veritable prisoner fast bound within his body Day in and day out, they watch shadows projected on a blank wall from things passing in front of a fire behind them. This is their entire reality—they give names to the shadows and assume they're real, never questioning that they might come from another source.
Once he looked at the fire, the light might hurt his eyes, and he'd be disoriented at the fact that the shadows he had believed were real were just illusions cast by the fire.
If he left the cave and walked into the sunshine, things would get even more confusing. The sun would be even brighter than the fire, and he might even see reflections of himself in a nearby body of water.
What would he think of his companions back in the cave, Socrates asks? He'd probably pity them for living in such a tiny sliver of reality. If he came back to the cave and told them about it, they'd probably think he was crazy. In another way, it also describes our limitations as human beings. We're the prisoners, and the cave is the human condition. We're beholden to what our senses can perceive, and we can never go beyond it. Plato's story might be centuries old, but it's just as poignant today.