Essay Title: 

PHIL 111

March 24, 2016 | Author: | Posted in philosophy, social sciences


Out of the Darkness

The Relationship between Plato ‘s Cave Allegory and The Republic

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Out of the Darkness

The Relationship between Plato ‘s Cave Allegory and The Republic

Book VII ‘ of The Republic , by Plato (360 B . C ) begins with the final of three successive analogies used by the author to introduce his concept of justice and the role of a philosopher-king in a land that is truly just

The Cave allegory describes a group of people who have [banner_entry_middle]

lived their entire lives inside of a cave – an underground den (Plato , 360 B .C . Chained in such a manner as to prevent their moving , they can see in only one direction : forward . In front of the people who are chained in the cave is a short wall , and on this wall are reflected a variety of shapes and figures . The shadows that the chained people see are created by a fire [that] is blazing at a distance [ . and .] marionette players ‘ who create stories with vessels , and statues and figures of animals (Plato , 360 B .C . The chained people have never seen anything but the shadows that dance on the wall , and as a consequence , their reality is made up of nothing more than the vague images seen in the reflected fire light . What they comprehend as people , animals , and things are merely the shadows of those things as they appear on the wall in the cave – but it is their reality

One of the cave prisoners is then liberated and compelled suddenly to stand up and turn his neck round and look towards the light (Plato 360 B .C . This new vision – no longer reflected shadows , but the actual things and the fire – becomes the cave-dweller ‘s new reality What he comprehends is much clearer than it was before however , he remains in the dimly lit environment of the cave – his reality still distorted

Having progressed this far , the prisoner is reluctantly dragged up a steep and rugged ascent , and held fast until he is forced into the presence of the sun (Plato , 360 B .C . Now outside , his eyes must adjust to the sunlight . Not only does the cave-dweller eventually see the worldly objects for what they are : actual people , animals , and things , but also he can see their shades of color and their variety of textures : he understands just how real these objects are , and he acknowledges that they are all made possible by the sun

The newly freed cave-dweller then recalls his time in the deep , dark cave , and when he remembered his old habitation , [ .] and his fellow prisoners , [ .] he pit[ied] them (Plato , 360 B .C . Having been extricated from the darkness , the cave-dweller can never return for not only has he experienced real reality (i .e . the outside world his eyes would no longer function well inside the cave – going back would mean his eyes [would fill with .] darkness… [banner_entry_footer]

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