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Plato's "Allegory of the Cave'

8. In Plato's allegory of the cave, you encounter one of the most powerful philosophical ways to deal with the problem of reality. Give a brief account of the allegory, explaining the main symbols and their meanings. Explain how this allegory allows you to deal with problem of reality, and develop your own interpretation of this problem.

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8. In Plato's allegory of the cave, you encounter one of the most powerful philosophical ways to deal with the problem of reality. Give a brief account of the allegory, explaining the main symbols and their meanings. Explain how this allegory allows you to deal with problem of reality, and develop your own interpretation of this problem.

The son of a wealthy and noble family, Plato (427-347 B.C.) was preparing for a career in politics when the trial and eventual execution of Socrates (399 B.C.) changed the course of his life. He abandoned his political career and turned to philosophy, opening a school on the outskirts of Athens dedicated to the Socratic search for wisdom. Plato's school, then known as the Academy, was the first university in western history and operated from 387 B.C. until A.D. 529, when it was closed by Justinian. http://www.historyguide.org/intellect/allegory.html

In the Allegory of the Cave, Plato likens people untutored in the Theory of Forms to prisoners chained in a cave, unable to turn their heads. All they can see is the wall of the cave. Behind them burns a fire. Between the fire and the prisoners there is a parapet, along which puppeteers can walk. The puppeteers, who are behind the prisoners, hold up puppets that cast shadows on the wall of the cave. The prisoners are unable to see these puppets, the real objects that pass behind them. What the prisoners see and hear are shadows and echoes cast by objects that they do not see.

In the Allegory of the ...

Solution Summary

This solution explains Plato's allegory of the cave, explaining the main symbols and their meanings, and how this allegory allows you to deal with problem of reality, and develop your own interpretation of this problem.

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