Georgie Megan Grainger. Philosophy Homework
1A.) “Explain Plato’s analogy of the cave”
Plato’s analogy is intended to explain the fight or struggle for true knowledge about the world and to see a different view on how we see the world. The analogy tells the story of three prisoners who are chained with their backs to the entrance of the cave, so they are unable to move or see anything behind them. Behind them is a fire and many people move through the cave all day and they are carrying things, so the shadows are projected onto the wall for the prisoners to see. What Plato said is that for the prisoners, this is the only reality that they know and that the shadows and images of people and their objects become their reality. However, one of the three prisoners is released outside of the cave where the bright sun blinds the man and he becomes confused at the world he sees around him. In the end, the man begins to understand that the world outside of the cave, illuminated by the sun is the true reality and that it isn’t the shadows at all. The man makes his way back to the cave and finds it awfully hard to adjust to the darkness of the cave and when he tries to explain his findings to the other prisoners, because they only know of the shadows, they cannot begin to believe him. The man who experienced the outside world can no longer see the shadows the same as the other two men, as he has seen the reality of the shadows and he can never go back to believing what he did before. The whole of the analogy has many hidden meanings behind it. For example, the cave in which the prisoners are kept suggests what Plato said as being the world of appearances or, to us, the world that we live in. Plato believed in two different realms; the realm of appearances, where things are constantly changing, and the realm of reality, which he saw as the true realm where things never changed. He believed that...
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