Perception of Reality and Cave of Allegory

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Updated: Mar 14, 2023
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“In the past life, human being perceives reality based on their own believes. According to English Oxford Dictionaries, Perception means is the state of being or process of becoming aware of something through the sense. We perceive things everyday whether being consciously or unconsciously it is bound to occur. We as human being we perceive things in different ways, based on our observation and information that is presented to us. What we perceive is not always reality. Our brain is the one that construct the reality through the combination of different activities of senses (Neurons).

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One of these ways of construct reality is Ventral stream which means, part of brain that recognize what something is. For example, when we recognize different things such as, phone, computer, remote control, and so on. Second one being, Dorsal stream which locates objects in physical body space. For instance, when we look around the room and we automatically map the things inside the room. And lastly being, the Limbic system which is represented by the part of the brain that can feels such as emotional reactions. The main way we perceive things is through our senses. This senses being our ability of sight, hear, taste, smell and touch. These simple actions we do every day or controlled by our brain. Perception begins within our Neurons, where we analyze our working of mind and brain. To give the visual presentation, imagine touching the hot stove. First, when contact is made a message is immediately sent to our skin receptors because of the sense of danger. Then a nerve impulse is send to our spinal code through our sensory neurons. This tells our brain that we are in danger or that something is not right, as a result, the brain sends back a message to quickly remove our hand, all within milliseconds. To illustrate how human being sees the reality in different ways based on what we perceive to be true I am going to use Cave of Allegory by Plato as an example.

Plato is the ancient Greek philosopher, Plato is the creator of Cave of Allegory, he creates this idea to express the ignorance of human being who were chained in the Cave since they were born. Plato realizes that the general run of humankind can think, talk and speak without having any awareness of his realm of forms. Allegory means that a story, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one (“”allegory | Definition of allegory in English by Oxford Dictionaries””, n.d.). The aim of that picture, poem or story is to express the message at the end of the story so that it can deliver message to people. Allegory is the Greek word, which is “Allegoria”, means to imply something else. To give meaning to something by using the meaning of something else. For example, when we say your shining like Star we represent something that is beyond the average and looks good.

Allegory of the cave by Plato was trying to explain how the prisoners who chained in the dark cave since they were born facing the wall start to perceive the reality based on the shadow on the wall. Behind them, it was burning fire where when the objects were moved and the shadow of the objects reflected on the wall and the prisoners were perceived the shadow as reality of outside world of the cave. One of the prisoner get out of the cave, at first he saw the sun, due to the long staying in the darkness inside the cave he could not see well and his eyes were hurting until he got adopted and perceives the reality as it is. He went back to the cave to tell the other prisoners that the world is friend of wisdom, world of idea, which includes essences of good, beautiful, truth, love, justice and so on. How the reality is but they keep push him away and think that he was going crazy and unable to accept the reality as it is. If we talk of any conspiracy theory, about the flat Earth. Back to thousand years ago, people believe that the Earth was flat. Aristotle proved them wrong. However, they did not believe it until a long time passed.

Richard Gregory ‘top-down theory’ assumed visual perception depends on top down conceptual driven processing. “Top down processing means understanding contextual information in pattern recognition” (McLeod, pp. 7). According to Gregory theory, we make on the daily bases are usually correct. This is because we base our assumptions on prior knowledge and experiences we have faced. One trial that Gregory conducted is called the Trial Hollow mask experience. To conduct this experiment he used a Charlie Chaplin mask to explain how our brain can construct an image of a person face, which seems to be protruding from both side of the mask. The reason for this is that our brains feel in the missing pieces, which in this case a hollow face.

Another study that was conducted around pretenses by Sanocki and Noah Sulman’s color relation experiment, meant to measure the impact of colors. Four sets of trial were presented and he asked several people what colors were harmonious and which colors were disharmonious. Two sets of colors pattern were presented to the participants were asked to whether the patterns were coincided or not and rate if were harmonious. Based on the results Sanocki and Sulman concluded that, we remember the colors better when they are harmonious and depending on the colors, we could be more drawn into the image.”

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Perception of Reality and Cave of Allegory. (2021, May 27). Retrieved from