Plato's Allegory Of The Cave

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In his writings and teachings, Plato contemplates the human person. He focuses on the knowledge and the being of man and what these aspects can contribute to society holistically. His theory of the human person is the superior philosophy that explains the path man should take to cover these aspects in order to lead a successful life. Plato addresses nearly every realm of philosophy, stretching from the epistemological to the metaphysical in various ways. He uses his epistemological analysis with the Allegory of the Cave to define learning. He addresses existence through his metaphysical examination of the Forms and highlights how these hypotheses hold implications on ethical and political standings. With these features, Plato displays how the…show more content…
In order to better understand this, Plato uses his Theory of Forms. A ‘form’ is an abstract and ideal property; they are perfect and unchanging. Though the knowledge of the Forms is recognized, the knowledge of material object is not; we only have beliefs or opinions about the material world. We have knowledge of the Forms before birth because our souls live in the Realm of the Forms. It isn’t until we are taught this that we realize we already have knowledge. Plato’s Socratic method asks questions of knowledge until the Forms are learned. An example of this is in Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave.” Prisoners are held in a cave from birth, with a fire burning behind them. Shadows are cast upon the wall as an aide to teach the prisoners of the outside world and what is. The prisoners only watch the stories that the shadows play out. Since the prisoners know nothing else, the stories are considered truth. The prisoners are a symbol of the simplest person. One who thinks that reality is just what they can see. The cave is representative of the world we live in, because it is all we can see, we hold it as real. However, each person has their own perception of these truths and therefore their…show more content…
Plato addresses these metaphysical questions of existence with the “Theory of the Forms”. As explained previously, the “Theory of Forms” maintains two distinct levels of reality. The first being the visible world of sights and sounds that we live in; the second being the intelligible world of Forms that gives the visible world being. Plato uses beauty to explain the forms. In addition to identifying a beautiful person or piece of art, we have a general conception of what beauty is. Due to our preconceptions, we are able to define the beauty in someone or something because of the abstract understanding we already have of beauty. Plato suggests that the world we live in is a world of appearances, but the real world is a composed of ideas and forms. The material world and everything in it is simply a reflection of ideals. In this ideal world, there are unchanging (ideals) forms of all physical objects. Plato’s metaphysical ideology emphasizes the concept of imitation and that the world we live in is just an imitation of what we know as an ideal world. His theory gives us the understanding that the world we live in is simply an imitation of the ideals we would hope to find in a perfect

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