Explain Plato’s teaching about reality in his analogy of the cave. In Plato’s analogy of the cave he suggests that the prisoners are held back by their senses telling them that the world that they see is in fact reality, whereas Plato disagrees with this. Plato believed that once the escapee (Philosopher) is outside of the cave, that they can use the power of reason to truly know what reality is. He believes that the world around us is not real, and that the world of the forms is the true reality where we can gain knowledge and understanding. Plato suggests that reality is only ‘real’ because of the form of the good (the sun), but the prisoners only have the fire, a copy of the form of the good, and not the sun – the highest form of the good- which is discovered when escaping the cave and into the world of the forms. He also suggests the ‘reality’ is an illusion given to us by our empirical knowledge. In other words, the cave (the world around us) would be the ‘real world’ illusion given unto us by our senses (empirical knowledge), Plato believed that we should never trust our senses, only our ability to reason and our logic. In this analogy, Plato implies that only by investigating, using our priori can philosophers gain the knowledge of the world of the forms. When mentioning the return to the cave, the escapee is ridiculed and persecuted, this represents philosophers being ridiculed continuously throughout history for their ideas and knowledge.
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