Plato through the character of Socrates describes a den, with prisoners chained, so that they could not move, therefore all they saw were nothing but images cast on the wall by the fire. All they heard were voices from the shadows. The shadows are nothing but images of the reality of the outside world to which their back is turn too, but for the prisoners is the only reality they know. “The truth would be literally nothing but the shadows of the image” (The Republic 252). Elf one of the prisoners was released and turned his neck around he would see the fire and he would be blinded by it.
Therefore e would be unable to see the reality, and he would still persist in maintaining the superior truth of the shadows. “Will he not fancy that the shadows which he formerly saw are truer than the objects which are now shown to him? ” (The Republic 255). If he was dragged from the cave into the light of the sun, he would finally confront the world as it really is. He would be dazzled at first by the excess of light and will not be able to see the reality surrounding him. “When he approaches the light his eyes will be dazzled, and he will not be able to see anything at all of what are now called realities” (The Republic 255)
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In Plat’s cave allegory we are restrained by what we know, which is based on what we see and hear. Beyond the cave, we do not know what awaits, yet we use the cave to describe ourselves and our lives without acknowledging what lies beyond our vision. It would not be until after the freed prisoner had studied and understood his new reality, the light of the moon, the sun, and the seasons, that he would begin to understand it. When returning to the cave the prisoner would find himself happy and the others pitiable, he would no longer be accustomed to the darkness and probably the other prisoner old kill him.
The author was truly convincing. When using the Allegory of the cave he made me see that the prisoners in the cave can only learn when one is free from the chains, forced to the light and forced to learn, and accept things as they truly are. Rather than as one sense them to be. Agree with the authors opinion that by changing people’s ways and forcing them to change they can reverse their tendency to pursue what they incorrectly think to be happiness and seek for true happiness. Which is the pursuit of virtue and reason. The chosen topic relates to the discussion we had in class on
February the 12th about the fact that Plato believed that our body senses can only give us, the shadows, imitation of forms or ideas. Therefore our senses at their best can only give us copies and at their worst deceive us. Making difficult to us to attain knowledge and truth. One of the possible problems envisioned in the authors position is the fact that Plato suggest that the shadows inside of the cave are not real, but they were in fact real, because the prisoners thought they existed. The other point is that after being unlighted by the truth of the world the prisoner cannot just forget about everything he learn from the other world.
If Plato believed that we see shadows how can we differentiate what is real from what are merely shadows? Are cats jut shadows of the ultimate cat? Plato belief puts in question the reality of the world around us. The story told by Socrates and Glaucoma presents a unique look at the way in which reality plays such an important part in our own existence, and how one understands it can be used as a qualification for leadership and government. References Jowett, Benjamin. The Republic. Trans. Plato. New York: Vintage Books, 1991. Print.