Plato offers these musings via a number of dialogues and it has been said that some of his views were actually those of Socrates – his teacher which can be a safe assumption to make as many individuals are influenced by their mentors in their on works.
Plato’s ideal of the physical life had one main theme in particular that recurred in may of his dialogues concerning the true nature of objects in existence and what an individual’s perception of this truth may be. He argues that what can be seen is not the exact reality and thus it can be stated that those who only use the sense of their surroundings to establish reality are off the mark and are only left with a vague idea of what the real truth is. Plato argues that something does not have to be tangible or visible for it to be real and those who believe so have in effect limited themselves from gaining the real truth (Plato 50).
This concept is promoted in a number of his dialogues and is can be clearly seen in his allegory of the cave. In this analogy, Plato argues that the world that can not be seen is the realest of them all and likens those whose belief is governed by what they can see in their surroundings to people who are living in a cave. The people living in the cave are only able to see shadows that are caused by the real objects but since this is all that they have known their whole life, they perceive these shadows to be the true forms of the objects and thus are blinded from seeing the reality of the situation. Plato then goes on describe one who gains enlightenment as a person who leaves the cave and for the first time sees the objects that have been the cause of the shadows that others have perceived to be the real thing thus breaking the shackles of ignorance. This analogy promotes the essence of thinking outside the box instead of blindly accepting what is put before you as the gospel truth and reality of life (Plato