Allegory of The Cave by Plato

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The 'Allegory of The Cave' is an allegory used by Plato in 'The Republic'. The allegory is told and then interpreted by the character Socrates. Socrates is talking to Glaucon and narrating a fable to illustrate what it is like to be a philosopher- a lover of wisdom.


On this, as on the screen, they see their own shadows, and that of things between them and the fire. Because they see nothing else they think that shadows are the real things. In the end one man throw off his fetters and gropes his way towards the mouth of the cave. There, for the first time he sees the light of the sun, shinning on the things of the real world. He goes back and shares this information with the rest of them, who think that he has become more stupid. Having seen the light, he cannot see the shadows clearly as he is dazzled by the brilliance of the light. He tries to show them the path to the light, but it is not easy to convince them. That is to say that if we a re strangers to the philosophy, then we are like prisoners. We only see shadows, appearances of the things. But when we are philosophers, we see things outside, in the sunlight of reason and truth and this is reality. This light, which gives us truth, and the power of knowing, stands for the idea of Good." (Russel,1960p. 61).
"The prison house is the world of sight, the light of the fire is the sun, and you will not misapprehend me if you interpret the journey upwards to be the ascent of the soul into the intellectual world according to my poor belief, which, at your desire." (Plato,)
The essence of the idea of good and ethical is captured here, as the background for all things which are universally beautiful. ...
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