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The Allegory of the Cave

Essay by   •  November 26, 2010  •  Essay  •  710 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,208 Views

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Plato believes that most people live in mental caves of ignorance and never perceive the truth. Assume, for sake of argument, that Plato is correct. How can the study of philosophy help remedy this situation?

Assuming Plato is correct is assuming that to attain the status of being able to see the truth, you have to be able to see past the shadows on the wall and realize that you can turn your head to the minds reality and see that there is more to the truth of being then what you can physically see with your own two eyes. In other words the study of philosophical means enabling our minds to see the truth about reality. Also, if Plato is correct, the soul of man inherently contains knowledge of good but can only perceive this in degrees of experience until the highest level of knowledge is attained.

Agreeing with this whole heartedly is a different story for me though. This analogy brings to mind an allegory called Flatland, a Romance of Many Dimensions. Here in this two dimension world the main character has a "vision" of a 1D world where its inhabitants only exist on a line as dots. The 2D creature tries his best to convince the king that his world is not the complete truth of things and tries to prove this by slipping in and out of his dimension. The king merely sees a dot (one small slice of the 2D being) and is not impressed as he looks just like any other of the people in this 1D world. The 2D character awakes perplexed by the dream. This 2D character is visited by a 3D being (first a cube and then a sphere) later on in the story. To convince the 2D creature that there is another dimension "above" and "below" his own, the cube tells him what is in the cupboards and says he can see the entire city and the people in their houses and the contents of their rooms and cupboards as well, all at the same time. He also moves objects from cupboard to cupboard without opening the door to try and get the idea of up and down. Also the sphere tries to prove that there exists a dimension above his own by coming in and out of this flat 2D world at will. To the amazement of the 2D creature the sphere appears and disappears at will, changing size from small to large and back again!

In then end, the sphere takes the 2D being out of his dimension into the 3D world. The 2D being is perplexed and confused beyond belief. He is reeling from the sights as he is pulled from his

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