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The Cave and the Consciousness: A Mythlic Account of Berkley's Idealism, and a Comparison with Platonic Formalism - Essay Example

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Your Name Prof’s Name Date The Cave and the Consciousness: A Mythic Account of Berkley’s Idealism, and a Comparison with Platonic Formalism Philosophical ideas can often be nearly impossible to understand for a lay (or even a learned) audience upon first reading, and sometimes second, third or fourth reading…

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The Cave and the Consciousness: A Mythlic Account of Berkley's Idealism, and a Comparison with Platonic Formalism

In this allegory, he talks about the fact that if all we could perceive were shadows of objects cast on a cave wall, we could still perceive many things about their existence, and they would be, to us, at least in some ways, real, even though they are mere shadows of the things that actually truly exist (Plato 229). He uses this to explain his concept of formalism, in which objects we see are mere reflections of a higher realm of those objects – for instance, we can cognitively assume that there is such thing as a perfect isosceles triangle (with infinitely thin lines, perfect angles, exact measurements and so on). Yet we also know that any representation of that triangle that we have ever seen is imperfect – one line might be an atom or two too long, the way the pen catches the paper could create distortions and so on. This is, in its fundamentals, the philosophical concept known as Platonic Formalism. George Berkeley’s conception of reality, known as Subjective Idealism, differs from Plato’s in several important ways. This essay will first attempt to create a myth or allegory to explain Berkeley’s idealism, then move on to compare and contrast it with platonic formalism. ...
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