Platos Myth of the Cave

Platos Myth of the Cave - they perceive to be reality....

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Plato’s Myth of the Cave Plato’s Myth of the Cave is a short dialogue between Socrates and Glaucon discussing the nature of justice. He uses the scenario of there being prisoners in a cave that can only see shadows being cast on a curtain lit by burning fire. The people in the cave have been sheltered their entire life and have no idea of the outside world. Socrates speaks of one of the prisoners escaping to find out everything he has known to not be reality. He would initially retreat back to the cave frightened of the outside world. He goes on to speak of the prisoner becoming accustomed to the outside world, stating the sun would be the last thing he would be able to observe because he had never viewed light in its purest form. I interpret his general point as being that its best to not judge unless you know it to be the truth. The prisoners in the cave have no idea whether the items being shown before them are real or just shadows. They assume these shadows are real objects with no knowledge other than what
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Unformatted text preview: they perceive to be reality. Plato seems to be trying to educate the reader to look beyond their initial knowledge and not judge what is not known. In theory the prisoner escapes and finds out everything he has known in this cave throughout his life to be false. He would have never have had to deal with this revelation if he had not prejudged. These prisoners are unenlightened to the ways of the world. Plato says And if he had to discriminate between the shadows, in competition with the other prisoners, while he was still blinded and before his eyes got used to the darkness-a process that would take some times-wouldnt he be more likely to make a fool of himself? Plato is insinuating the dull minds of the prisoners could not handle a venture out of the cave. Their minds are programmed to win the game of shadows in the cave, not to seek anything higher or to become enlightened....
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This note was uploaded on 04/17/2008 for the course ENGL 1302 taught by Professor Salcedo during the Spring '07 term at UT Arlington.

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Platos Myth of the Cave - they perceive to be reality....

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