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Plato's Argument - Essay Example

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One notable thing about the Allegory of the Cave is that it presents, although in brief form, a number of Plato’s philosophical assumptions. In this regard, I am referring to his belief that the way the world is revealed in our senses is not a replica of the real world but a very poor copy as such. This belief which forms one of the most prominent philosophical assumption is best manifested in the Allegory of the Cave by Plato’s likening of this state of unrealistic world view with chained prisoner’s who think that the shadows that they see behind their chained position is what constitute reality, which unfortunately is fundamentally wrong. There are those who might voice several objections on Plato’s allegory. First, they might question the huge gap that he draws between the intelligible and the invisible realm. It appear like to him it is either you are chained or not, but nothing in-between. Experience has shown me that the degree at which people acquire Plato’s idea of ‘education’ is never in those two extremes that Plato describes in this allegory. Looking at real life, even the most simple-minded prisoner in this sort of a shadow interrogates the validity of what he/she sees while posing epistemological questions that point to a deeper understanding of the intelligible realm. Failing to undergo the entire painful transformation does not necessarily mean that a person is totally unaware or in denial of “reality and understanding”, as is the case with Plato’s prisoners. Perhaps we are supposed to understand that some people are further ahead of others in their exit from the cave, something that Plato capture perfectly when he acknowledge that a prisoner would require time to adjust before he/she get used to the world above (Kraut, 2011), which essentially suggests that enlightenment take time. However, he proceeds to paint a picture of two separate groupings; those who digest what they perceive at face value and those others who strive to get truth and understanding via knowledge. I strongly believe that this allegory would have been more precise and easier to apply in today’s life if it had addressed the gray areas between somebody in the visible realm and the other completely immersed in the truth in the intelligible realm. Secondly, I fail to understand why enlightenment should end the moment a prisoner exit the cave. At first, the prisoner believed that the shadow of those artefacts that he/she saw constituted the truth. Since they were wrong in believing that, what assurance do they have that whatever they will see once out of the cave will be errorless? And as if to show that whatever the prisoners will see once out of the cave will not necessarily constitute the truth, Plato uses words like “truer and clearer” in describing the intelligible realm. According to me, it would make sense to assume that these prisoners, rather than being satisfied with “truer and clearer” world out of the cave, would be more doubtful of their observation of the world and ...Show more


Name: University: Course: Tutor: Date: Much might have changed in this time and age when the Allegory of the Cave was penned by Plato, however, it lessons is still relevant to this generation just as it was then. This can be seen in the fact that just as Plato equated people untaught in the Theory of Forms to prisoners chained in caves in a way that obstruct them from reality, we are still confronted by such a picture…
Author : tomasa71
Platos Argument
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