PSY 202 Chapter Notes - Chapter 5: Western Philosophy, Polemarchus, Cephalus
514a- 521d: socrates presents the most beautiful and famous metaphor in western philosophy: the allegory of the cave. This metaphor is meant to illustrate the effects of education on the human soul. Education moves the philosopher through the stages on the divided line, and ultimately brings him to the form of the good. Allegory of the cave: socrates describes a dark scene. A group of people have lived in a deep cave since birth, never seeing the light of day: these people are bound so that they cannot look to either side or behind them, but only straight ahead. Behind them is a fire, and behind the fire is a partial wall. The prisoners watch the stories that these shadows play out, and because these shadows are all they ever get to see, they believe them to be the most real things in the world.