Explain the Allegory of the Cave in the Theory of Dimension

Topics: Dimension, Truth, Flatland Pages: 3 (1006 words) Published: December 1, 2012
In Plato’s’ The Allegory of the Cave, he allows an individual to realize that which they already know. The situation in the cave seems dark and gloomy, like a place no one would ever want to go. However, the reality is that some people are at a point in their lives, in their own “cave”. The people that are in Plato’s’ cave, the prisoners, have always been there. They all have their legs and necks chained and cannot move. They cannot turn their necks or bodies to look around them. The cave is very dark and there is a fire in the distance. There is a wall in front of them and men are frequently carrying tools and vessels and various shaped objects with them. This creates different shaped shadows for the prisoners to see. All that they have seen or ever known is what is in front of them, a two-dimensional world.

A two-dimensional world would represent people that only saw what was in front of them. According to Plato, one could only imagine, never seeing or having any previous knowledge of people or objects. Like some people today, all the prisoners know is what is in front of them, a warped view of reality. If a person only accepts what is in front of them, they too are living in a two-dimensional world. The shadows are reality to the prisoners because it is all that they have ever known. They don’t know that they are distorted and are a reflection of something that is real.

One example that Plato might use if he were alive today would be a movie theatre. The movie projector would be the fire. The film showing would be the shadows reflected on the wall. The viewers are the prisoners. The shadows on the wall can be compared to most movies that are viewed today because they are not reality but a warped representation of it. If the viewer or prisoner chooses to accept what is in front of them as reality then they are in a sense choosing to live in a two-dimensional world. A prisoner would have to believe that there is more to life than what has been put in...
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