The Cave

Topics: Truth, Reality, Epistemology Pages: 2 (634 words) Published: October 21, 2013
The Allegory of the Cave is a text that is devoted to the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality and existence. Plato explores the nature of our society by using the illustration of human prisoners who are chained in such a way that they cannot move their heads, unable ling them to see the outside world. This allegory is a symbolic representation of what reality can be to one, may not be a reality to others.

The allegory of the cave commences with the description of a dark cave in which a number of prisoners have been held from birth. Their bodies are bound so that they cannot escape, they can only see a wall that reflects wooden images of animals and other materials. These prisoners cannot distinguish true reality from what an illusion is, they believe that their illusion is true reality, the text supports this idea when Plato states “How could they see anything but the shadows if they were never allowed to move their heads”. This allegory takes a turning point when one of the prisoners is released from the cave, as he comes out to the world he cannot see the imagines that are surrounding him because his eyes are not use to staring light. But as this prisoner stays in the outer world he begins to recognize everything, then he starts to realizes that everything what he had experience in the cave was merely an illusion of what reality is suppose to be.

How can one know the truth, if one doesn’t know what truth is. This may be contradicting but the real truth is what one knows to be true. In order to explain this concept better, let me use the analogy of the blind men trying to describe what an elephant looks like. Six blind men travel to go and see an elephant each man held a different part and the elephant and then describe to the others what an elephant look like. One of the men found the elephant’s leg and started to describe it as being round and rough like a tree. Another felt the tusk and described it as a spear. The third took held...
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