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The Allegory of the Cave

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Section 6940, PHIL & 101

Prof. M. Kim

April 10, 2018

For this paper I am going to talk about 5 important words: epistemology, anthropology, ontology, problematic, and solution using the story by Plato called, “The Allegory of the Cave”.

                Plato offers the anthropological insight of human beings that had been confined to their capability to learn about their true reality.  In the 8th edition book, “Classics of Western Philosophy”, it states that, “fixed in the same place, with their necks and legs fettered, able to see only the front of them, because their bonds prevent them from turning their heads around”[1].  This shows that during this time human beings were imprisoned and that humans that didn’t have anything to compare with made their own explanations about the things they saw without having any opinions which none of them did by choice. The significance of this is prisoners that had no sight and no personal experiences to go from, making their own ideas and thoughts about things and put meaning behind them.

        Plato offers the ontology insight of human being’s reality that had been confined to their capability to learn about their true reality.  In the 8th edition book, “classics of Western Philosophy”, it states that, “imagine human beings living in an underground, cave like dwelling, with an entrance a long way up, which is both open to the light and as wide as the cave itself”[2].  This shows how limited they all were in their resources and how their reality was really nothing.  All they did was stair at the wall in an underground cave at the shadows that went by.  The significance of this is that people who had no sight or idea of the real world made up their own reality based on their very few experiences hidden in the cave.

        Plato offers the epistemology insight of human being’s experiences that had been confined to their capability to learn their true reality.  In the 8th edition book, “Classics of Western Philosophy”, it states that, “then also imagine that there are people among the wall, carrying all kinds of artifacts that project above it- statues of people and other animals, made of stone, wood, and every material. And you’d expect, some of the carriers are talking, and some are silent”[3].  This shows that the prisoners were not exposed to much and they didn’t know the difference between something that was living and something that wasn’t like a reflection on the wall. This was all based on their experience in the cave and what they had to go through with their small amount of knowledge they had on the world.  The significance of this is everything that one chooses to decide, or think is all based on that person’s experiences and everyone’s experiences will vary.  

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