Class Notes (836,147)
United States (324,358)
Boston College (3,565)
HONR 1101 (27)
All (26)


2 Pages
Unlock Document

Honors Program
HONR 1101
All Professors

Emily McClure Allegory of the Cave I want to start by saying that I really enjoyed reading Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” and reading about his philosophy. It is obviously something much different, radical even, compared to the common ideas of theAthenians at the time. That being said, I will continue with my decipherment of the text. Plato begins by describing the cave (through the character of Socrates) as a metaphor to humankind and the common theory of education at the time. He says that the men in the cave who have never seen the light or the true source of the shadows live their lives based on artificial knowledge that they have come to accept, and this is the case because those shadows are all they have ever known. But when a man is finally free to turn around and venture into the light and see the real world, his eyes might hurt and it’s possible that initially he would run back the artificial knowledge which is his truth. Plato suggests that the man emerging from the cave will need some time to adjust, and that he mustn’t be forced into the light until he is ready. He will start by seeing the shadows in the light, then the “phantoms” and reflections of the real objects, then the actual objects themselves, then the moon and stars, and finally he will be able to make out the sun. Only then will he see the truth. At this point, the sun compares to the final lesson in education: “the last thing to be seen, and that with considerable effort, is the idea of the good; but once seen, it must be concluded that this is in fact the cause of all that is right and fair in everything”. So at this point, Plato now begins describing the true meaning of his comparison. He, through Socrates, says that the common men inAthens believe that people are not born with knowledge, and that they must gain it “as though they were putting sight into blind eyes.” He counters that, in fact, knowledge is accessible to everyone if they only search it in the correct way. I think that he is saying that true understanding, or “seeing the light”, comes from within and that it is developed by habit and vision. He also believes that both the uneducated and also the overly educated are at fault in society: “the former because they don't have any single goal in life at which they must aim in doing everything they do in private or in public, the latter because they won't be willing to act, believing they have emigrated to a colony on the Isles of the Blessed while they are still alive?” Plato maintains that only a person with a true understanding of the good is able to lead a genuinely successful life. Moreover, only these people with knowledge of the truth can be trustworthy and principled authorities in society. He
More Less

Related notes for HONR 1101

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.