The Allegory Of The Cave In The Republic Of Plato

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The Allegory of the Cave in the Republic of Plato exhibits the processes of learning and understanding through education. Education, as it is commonly understood, is in a classroom with a teacher and a dozen students. The process of obtaining knowledge, according to Plato, is achieved only through education. Education, in the sense that a teacher educates and leads his or her student out of the cave and into the light, or pure truth. In Plato’s Republic, the Allegory of the Cave is analogous not only to his Theory of Forms, but also to the processes of learning and understanding for human beings. Plato begins by creating a setting in which human beings are imprisoned, from birth, with their backs against a big wall, facing an adjacent wall on which shadows are being portrayed. A fire…show more content…
“They’re like us,” Plato says, referring to the imprisoned human beings. The knowledge these prisoners have encompass only what is portrayed through shadows on the wall in front of them. Furthermore, what the men holding the objects atop the wall call each object, the prisoners also believe to be true. In other words, the only knowledge these prisoners have is what they have seen from the shadows, and what they hear from the men holding the artifacts that create the shadows. “When one of them was freed and suddenly compelled to stand up, turn his head, walk, and look up toward the light, he’d be pained and dazzled and unable to see the things whose shadows he’d seen before.” The prisoners must be compelled to stand up by someone who is not imprisoned. They are compelled to turn their head, to uncover the truth and to find knowledge. In the Allegory of the Cave, Plato writes as though the prisoner is reluctant to discover this truth and knowledge. It seems as though the prisoners are afraid of what they might find. Human beings do not like change, they do not
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