Explain Plato's Allegory of the Cave

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Explain Platos allegory of the cave (25) The Greek philosopher Plato established his allegory of the cave from his writings in 'The Republic' and has multiple morals that are displayed through Socrates and Glaucon. Here his hypothetical argument questions the relationship between the world of appearances and reality, illustrating people worthy of ruling (philosophers) cannot trusting their empirical knowledge though the senses, but only through understanding the world of the forms through intellectual knowledge can we experience a dim recollection of reality. The allegory begins with a description of prisoners in a cave, who are only able to look strait ahead because they are chained. Plato's use of a cave is argued to have built upon the earlier philosopher Empedocles who said 'we have come under this cavern’s rood, conveying the sense of being trapped in a different world away from light and reality. This is similar to Plato's idea the material (body) trapping the immaterial (soul). Plato's prisoners in the cave are in a state of mind called 'eikasia' (image or likeness) this is due to the use of their senses that create a false reality. Plato describes this as the lowest state of mind of understanding, and carries guest work and opinion with it. Furthermore there is an unquestioning mentality with most of these prisoners accept everything at face value. This includes the shadows caused by the flickering light, illustrating the unsubstantial reality they are shown. Plato states that they empty of philosophy and represent the majority of humanity. A prisoner escapes and is dazzled by new light, and through the characters own first philosophical questioning leaves him in is a state of puzzlement. He begins to realise previous reality was an 'illusion' and begins to question his previous beliefs. This daunting realisation makes him want to ignore true reality
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