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Word Count: 1,320
This paper discussed The Allegory of The Cave in Platos Republic and tries to unfold the messages Plato wishes to convey with regard to his conception of reality knowledge and education THE ALLEGORY OF THE CAVE Platos Allegory of the Cave is a story that conveys his theory of how we come to know or how we attain true knowledge It is also an introduction into his metaphysical and ethical system In short it is a symbolic explanation of his Theory of the Forms or eidos In a cavern some people experience a strange confinement for they are chained so they can look forward only at the wall of the cave At their backs a fire burns which they never are able to see Between their bodies and the fire runs a path with a low wall along which people carry pictures puppets and statues All the prisoners can see are the shadows on the wall all they can hear is the echo of the people walking and talking behind them 1 The prisoners cannot see the exit out of the cave the fire burning behind them or the people carrying objects in front of the fire They do not know the real objects in the cave they only see and hear the shadows that those objects cast as they pass before the fire and the echoes of the workers voices as they carry the objects across the parapet in front of the fire Plato is making an appearanceReality distinction The prisoners are only familiar with the appearances of shadows and thus they mistake appearance for Reality They think the shadows are Reality They do not know what causes the shadows For instance if an object a pen let us say is carried past behind them and it casts a shadow on the wall and a prisoner says I see a pen he thinks he is talking about a pen but he is really talking
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