Plato’s Analogy of the Cave | Philosophy Theories
Candidates should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of what might be represented in the Analogy of the Cave by the
1) the prisoners, the shadows, the cave itself, the
outside world, the sun, the journey out of the
cave and the return to the prisoners.
to Philosophy: (a) Explain Plato’s analogy of the cave (25 marks
Despite Socrates' use of "reverse psychology" to make Glaucon realize the truth on his own terms, Glaucon does not find the philosopher's life ideal, so Socrates switches tactics. Instead of using irony, Socrates uses images to teach the interlocutors. When Socrates describes the good, Glaucon has trouble understanding its complexity, so Socrates takes a step back and uses the sun image to convey his point. He moves from the sun image to that of the divided line, and then develops the analogy of the cave to represent the nature of education. Whereas Glaucon accepted the first account of education because he himself sparked the discussion of the luxurious city, he is now perplexed by the image of the cave. Glaucon reacts as if he has stepped out of the cave for the first time and does not know what to make of his bright surroundings. But similar to the escaped prisoner's increasing ability to see what is, as Socrates introduces his sequence of images Glaucon begins to understand what the good is, how it is to be found, and that it is the most desirable virtue. As the shadows of his convictions fade, Glaucon begins to see the good and understand that philosophy is a profitable, satisfying activity, as well as the way to enlightenment.
Explain the Analogy of the Cave in Plato?s Republic. Plato uses a simple story that has metaphorical meaning, this is an analogy. He uses this simple story to explain his philosophical idea that there are two worlds, the world of forms and the physical world in which we live. He believes he has completed the journey of enlightenment by escaping this physical world and uses ?The Cave? analogy, to try and help us onto our journey of enlightenment. He tries explaining to others why the physical world, or world of sense experience, was nothing but an illusion; that true reality must be found in the eternal unchanging World of Forms. Plato?s analogy begins in the cave itself. The cave is used to represent the physical world or the world of sense experience. Prisoners have been chained since birth so that they cannot turn around to see, they are ordinary people who haven?t yet discovered knowledge so they know no better life. The chains represent our sense that causes us to accept what we see and hear.
Plato was an ancient Greek philosopher. In his book ‘the republic’ he uses the analogy of the cave to highlight the importance of reasoning and questioning in order to understand, as opposed to just accepting things at face value.