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How can Platos Allegory of the Cave be used to help understand Euthyphro I chose this form of the question assuming the shorter story would help unlock the lengthier one Normally an allegory is filled with symbols that have meaning on a higher level so despite its shortness may be more complex However after Socrates tells his story about the prisoner in the cave he is helpful enough to explain how we should interpret the objects and events to understand Platos view of the structure of reality the relationship between the philosopher and society the stages of enlightenment and the questioning nature and doubts that are features of the philosophical temperament For Plato two realms of reality exist The lower level he symbolizes by the world of the cave But there is a higher realm symbolized by the world outside the cave Say you are the prisoner and witnessed the fire then extinguished it It has changed But the burning fire was a symbol for fire itself the idea of fire in your mind was not erased There are two fires One which you see touch taste feel and smell is part of the lower changing realm The other is unchanging the idea of fire that is different from the physical symbol of fire you just put out Plato called these ideas forms If you and all sentient beings died the idea or form of fire would still exist in the higher nonphysical realm of reality Everything you know with your senses are copies of forms Platos symbols for these imperfect copies were the shadows of the objects behind the prisoners To be enlightened is to escape from the lower world of the cave the world of the senses and ascend into a higher unchanging realm of the perfect forms The highest form was the Form of the Good Symbolized by the sun the Good was the last thing seen by the prisoner and the
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