Allegory Of The Cave Essay

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The “Allegory of the Cave” from the Republic by Plato is a parable that explains how sensory knowledge is inadequate to philosophical knowledge. Plato attempts to convey the message that for humans to have, “real” knowledge we must not be handicapped by our senses, but have to delve into philosophical thought and reasoning; however, after studying the passage, the parable also teaches how in any life one can only grow as a person by leaving their own world. The story begins with three prisoners that are bound to rocks so that they can only look at the cave wall before them. The prisoners have been in the cave their whole lives and the cave is their “world”. Behind the prisoners is a raised wall that a fire sits. The prisoners can only see…show more content…
Plato uses the symbols to convey his lesson, but the symbols hold multiple meanings. The shadows the prisoners see on the wall are representative of the people who are trapped in sensory knowledge as opposed to philosophical thought. However, the cave is also a construct representative of our own “worlds”. We see, comprehend, and act in the way our “world” does. Examples range from close friend groups, social classes, or coworkers. The shadows, as told by Plato, are representative of the perceptions that “empirical evidence” ensures knowledge, but the shadows are also representative of the “truths” that are taken for granted in our “world” along with others in our “world”. These “truths” are taken as reality because our “world” understands them to be real. What is true and right socially is not what our eyes necessarily see, which leads to the third symbol. The game in the parable represents how people believe in one “leader” or “master”, but many times, especially in social situations, the “leader” is as blind as the ones who are following. Finally, the prisoner’s escape represents the pleb who seeks philosophical knowledge outside of the cave. The escape is also representative of the daily routine we each have in our “world” and the complacency therein. By wandering outside one’s, “world” or inner circle we are allowed to gain more knowledge as opposed to our single

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