Essay about Plato’s Allegory of the Cave

Category: Culture
Date added
2021/06/26
Pages:  2
Words:  625
Order Original Essay

How it works

Plato’s Allegory of the Cave presents an extended metaphor drawing upon philosophical issues such as epistemology, ethics, metaphysics, enlightenment, education, religion, and politics. As we journey through Plato’s story we come to understand the representations behind it. The basic premise here is showing us the relation between education and truth. True knowledge is hidden and humans are easily misinterpreting information presented when under certain conditions that don’t allow them to expand their perspective or question the nature of reality and truth. He argues that the prisoners (and other humans alike) are miseducated or ignorant, and in order to attain true objective knowledge we must gain it through philosophical reasoning.

The process of progressing out of the cave is about enlightenment toward true understanding. The process in his story is depicted as one of struggle and discomfort. It requires assistance and sometimes force to progress. Plato is implying that there will always be struggle when confronting truth and that it is not easy to become educated. The prisoner leaving the cave is questioning his beliefs, where the prisoners still chained are accepting their beliefs and living in ignorance, even when faced with opposition of the freed prisoner trying to help them. Here Plato implies that not everyone has the capacity to think philosophically, that there are some people that are not willing to face their beliefs and are comfortable living in ignorance.

When people live in ignorance and stay in a limited perspective, they become more prone to being manipulated and used. Many believe Plato is discussing the underlying struggle between society and government. The cave represents the limited ‘world’ controlled by government and the shadows on the wall symbolize an illusion of truth given to us by our government. This way, the government has more power and more money in the process. Plato’s ideal society contains proper functions and intentions from a philosophical ruler. This means that philosophers who have acquired ethical virtuous knowledge are the best to lead society so that it will function at its best, and that these philosophers have the best intentions because they are based from knowledge and not opinion. He argues that the greatest rulers for society are ones that are based from education, experience, and objective truth.

Some may argue that Plato’s ideals about government are unrealistic because we live in a world of duality (good and evil) and that we may never have a perfect functioning society, that triumphs over evil (ignorance). There will always be corruption and even if we may attain a society and government similar to one that Plato describes, would it last? This is a logical point to bring up, there is constant shifting in the world between good and evil, but Plato’s main intention with this thought experiment is to show the struggle between good and evil and that we should always strive toward being good even if it is a struggle. Even if we cannot form a perfect society based solely on virtue and ethics, we should always try to improve ourselves, society and other people around us. Allegory of the Cave provides hope of transcending from ignorance and reaching for the truth.

For Plato, education is a transformative process, it is a struggle and it changes your existence as a whole. This is the transition from darkness (the cave/ignorance) to light (outside of the cave/truth). He believed that everyone is capable of learning only if they have the will to learn, the desire. If the prisoner did not question the shadows on the wall (his reality/beliefs) he would have never ascended unto knowledge. With the help of a teacher he was able to understand reality and progress his character toward truth.

Did you like this example?

Cite this page

Essay About Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. (2021, Jun 26). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/essay-about-platos-allegory-of-the-cave/

The deadline is too short to read someone else's essay

Hire a verified expert to write you a 100% Plagiarism-Free paper

WRITE MY PAPER