Plato’s Allegory of the Cave
Philosophers = Lovers of Wisdom; Genuine moral experts
Some people love trivial facts and info
Devoted to truth of a kind
But, the philosopher’s wisdom is different
Knowledge – involves what IS (the true, the good, & the beautiful)
Opinion – between what IS and is NOT (facts, the many good & beautiful things)
Ignorance – knowledge of what is NOT (false opinion)
Allegory of the Cave
Illustrates the obstacles we face in learning what is most real.
Symbolizes the relations among different levels of knowledge.
Points the way towards a proper education.
Prisoners in the cave, chained to chairs.
The cave = society
The chains = conventions
Prisoners can only see shadows.
Don’t know what they see isn’t real because it’s all they know.
Philosopher breaks free, sees objects/fire/cave.
Philosopher is blinded by fire – confused. Finds his way out, even more blinded/confused.
Eventually becomes accustomed to the light.
Finally sees the light.
Sun = The True, The Good
Philosopher goes back into cave to save the others.
But, the prisoners think they know the truth so they reject him.
Statement on the human condition, o