Platos allegory of the Cave Essay

This essay has a total of 454 words and 2 pages.

Platos allegory of the Cave



Plato was born 427 BC and died 347 BC He was a pupil under Socrates.
During his studies, Plato wrote the Dialogues, which are a collection of Socrates'
teachings. One of the parables included in the Dialogues is "The Allegory of the
Cave". "The Allegory..." symbolizes man's struggle to reach understanding and
enlightenment. First of all, Plato believed that one can only learn through dialectic
reasoning and open-mindedness. Humans had to travel from the visible realm of
image-making and objects of sense to the intelligible or invisible realm of reasoning
and understanding. "The Allegory of the Cave" symbolizes this trek and how it
would look to those still in a lower realm. Plato is saying that humans are all
prisoners and that the tangible world is our cave. The things which we perceive as
real are actually just shadows on a wall. Just as the escaped prisoner ascends into
the light of the sun, we amass knowledge and ascend into the light of true reality:
ideas in the mind. Yet, if someone goes into the light of the sun and beholds true
reality and then proceeds to tell the other captives of the truth, they laugh at and
ridicule the enlightened one, for the only reality they have ever known is a fuzzy
shadow on a wall. They could not possibly comprehend another dimension without
beholdin! g it themselves, therefore, they label the enlightened man mad. For
instance, the exact thing happened to Charles Darwin. In 1837, Darwin was
traveling aboard the H.M.S. Beagle in the Eastern Pacific and dropped anchor on
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