Plato's Allegory of the Cave and the Condition of Mankind

Topics: Epistemology, Truth, Plato Pages: 3 (1147 words) Published: August 22, 2012
In philosophy the distinction between truth and knowledge is effectively highlighted in Plato’s allegory of the cave, which illustrates the great limitations faced by philosophers in discovering the ultimate nature of reality. Nevertheless regarding the theory of knowledge, the parable itself is highly symbolic and asserts that any knowledge gained through perceptual awareness is an illusion and are mere reflections of the highest truths. This allegory can be interpreted in many ways; however in the context of platonic epistemology it flawlessly conveys Plato’s “Theory of forms” of an immaterial realm of abstractions considered to be the highest reality in which upon all natural phenomenon is based on. The difference between truth and knowledge itself moreover is a much simpler matter. Since the only semantic distinction between the two is that, truth is anything that is in accord with fact or reality whereas knowledge are any facts, information, and skills acquired through experience or education. However from an epistemological perspective disagreement still remain about whether our senses can be trusted to discover the ultimate nature of reality and subsequently establish if the perceived world as we know it is not just an illusion or a dream.

Additionally within the framework of The Republic; the allegory of the cave presented by Plato demonstrates the essence of his metaphysical theories regarding the distinction between truth and knowledge. As the allegory is crafted to convey that the basic condition of mankind with respect to perceptual judgements is essentially one of error and confusion. As it begins by painting striking picture of human life as imprisoned in a world of darkness and shadows inside a cave where a group of prisoners chained since childhood to chairs with their heads fixed unable to move. Facing a wall lit by a great fire raging behind them at a higher distance inside the cave, As a result they are essentially oblivious to anything...
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