Comparing and contrasting Plato's "Allegory of the Cave" with Paulo Freire's "Pedagogy of the Oppressed"

Topics: Philosophy, Plato, Critical pedagogy Pages: 3 (1201 words) Published: February 8, 2004
Stretching Our Horizons

Comparing and contrasting Plato's "Allegory of the Cave" with Paulo Freire's "Pedagogy of the Oppressed" is a complex example of comparing bananas with tangerines. It is hard to take in the mind of a great philosopher. It is even harder to make that mind your own. For that reason the task of fully evaluating these two pieces side by side may forever be a work in progress. Each essay contains three major points. These points discussed new and advised teaching methods, how man is related to or with the world; and the responsibility that enlightened individuals have to mankind. The ideas of these two philosophers both mirror and oppose each other in varying degrees. Through taking very different paths the two writers make their own points clear and demand rational and logical thought of their readers.

Plato was a student of Socrates and though the writing of "Allegory of the Cave" is all his own the basis for his ideas came from none other than his own teacher. The teacher you see is one half of the great element in Plato's epiphany. Socrates is in fact a main character in the conversation from which this excerpt is taken. It is said that in this particular work, "Plato described symbolically the predicament in which mankind finds itself and proposes a way of salvation" (Plato 1). Throughout the conversation a system of ideas develops that are meant to teach the reader or readers about themselves, their world and how it should be viewed rather than a simple, inverted, non-involved outlook that is common to everyday people. The purpose of this writing was to bring about enlightenment. To bring forth this enlightenment we must search for knowledge according to Plato and this knowledge he refers to as light. Light brings the world into focus, so does knowledge and realization of one's place in the world. In Plato's model, the teacher questions the actions or ideas of the student so that the student will learn to think on their own. A...
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