The Republic - the Allegory of the Cave

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  • Topic: Light, Book of Optics, Sunlight
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  • Published : December 11, 2012
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The Republic Notes
Dialogue between Socrates (protagonist) and Glaucon (interlocutor) Stage 1. Bound inside cave
* Been there since childhood, legs and necks fettered
* Fire burning behind and above them
* See artifacts carried by people along wall of path
* Honours, praises, prizes for those sharpest at identifying shadows & order of shadows honored and held power; rewards are desired / envied * Truth is nothing other than the shadows of those artifacts Stage 2. Freed of bonds, look towards light

* Cured of “ignorance”
* Pained and dazzled, unable to see things whose shadows he’s seen before * Be at a loss; believe that the things he saw earlier were truer than ones he was being shown now * Look at light: eyes hurt, turn around and flee towards (shadows) * They’re clearer than the ones he’s being shown

Stage 3. Leaving the cave
* Pained and irritated at being dragged up path into sunlight * Unable to see a single one of the things now said to be true (at first) Stage 4. Getting adjusted
* See shadows most easily reflections of things in water things themselves * Study things in sky & sky itself easily at night than looking at sun & light of sun THEN see sun itself and able to study it

* Sun provides seasons and the years, governs everything in visible world, cause of all things he used to see * No longer envy prizes, prefer to “work the earth as a serf to another, one without possessions” go through sufferings rather than live as he used to. Stage 5. Going back to cave & same place

* Eyes be filled with darkness, vision dim
* Bad at competing in recognizing shadows invite ridicule, said to have eyesight ruined, isn’t worthwhile to try travel outside * Others: kill whoever try to free them and lead them upward Metaphors:

Prison Dwelling| Visible Realm|
Light of Fire| Power of Sun|
Upward journey & study of things above| Upward journey of soul to intelligible realm| Sun|...
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