With the help of an allegory, Plato explains the sensible world of illusion and belief, the place where most people reside. The philosopher has stepped outside this world, into a world of knowledge and truth. Plato makes use of a cave to explain this; I will use another means. A child believes in the myth of Santa Claus, a child has good reason to suppose this myth is true, it is inculcated when he receives Christmas presents, the media, family and friends consolidate the belief, the child even writes to Santa Claus and receives a reply. On Christmas Day this belief becomes a reality'. Through education and maturity, the child will have doubts as to the truth of this illusion. At some stage during the transition from childhood to adulthood he will acknowledge the illusion, and further, during parenthood the myth really comes home to roost as knowledge and absolute truth. (He now has a choice; he can put an end to the myth or continue the cycle) What is distinctive regarding each stage, is how far they have come out of the cave. Through illusion and belief to knowledge, or from artisan to auxiliary to philosopher.
The fundamental prerequisite to becoming a philosopher ruler is to have knowledge of the forms, therefore knowing the truth. The forms do not exist in the sensible world, they can only be found in the super-sensible world. Platos theory of the forms is partly logical and partly metaphysical. The logical part is, take for example... [continues]
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