In this essay I will discuss Plato’s Allegory of the Cave and how it expresses his philosophical view on reality versus belief and the process someone has to undergo to achieve enlightenment. Plato lived 427-327 B.C his mentor was Socrates, Plato was a writer and a teacher he writes in forms of dialogues.
Plato believed that education is only directing student’s minds towards what is important and real. For people to achieve enlightenment they have to apprehend things for themselves.
He also thought that the universe, in the end, was good. Enlightened individuals to Plato have a bind on reality unlike the rest of society. In order to have a good society Plato believed it must be ruled by the truly wise.
The Allegory of the Cave is in book VII of the Republic, which is Plato’s best-known work.(Kreis, Steven.May 13, 2004).The Allegory of the Cave is his best known metaphor.
The Allegory of the cave is a way of explaining what Plato is trying to get across to people by looking at appearance versus reality and the steps leading to reality. He is talking to a follower of his named Glaucon and he is telling this fable to show what it is like to be a philosopher or a lover of wisdom.Plato’s cave has people who are unlearned of theory of forms chained unable to move their heads or limbs.
A fire burns behind them, between the fire and the’prisoners’ there is a parapet where people can go to hold up puppets such as animals, plants and other things to cast shadows on the cave walls that the prisoners can see.
The prisoners can hear echoes and see the shadows cast by the objects but aren’t able to see the real objects. So what they are naming the shapes which are all the reality they know but really their shadows of images. The prisoners are mistaking appearance for reality.The prisoners would see the shadows as being real and they would know nothing of the real causes of the shadows.