“The Allegory of the Cave”

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“The Allegory of the Cave” is a short story from one of Plato’s books, The Republic. After discovering and learning about “The Allegory of the Cave”, it is safe to say for sure that “Allegory of the cave” is one of the most well-known works of Plato. Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” definitely has a context of education in it. Moreover, his work contains Plato’s view of education and philosophical education. In Plato’s book The Republic, Socrates is the main character, and he tells the story of “Allegory of the Cave” to Glaucon. Throughout the passage, there are a lot of metaphors and illustrations to observe Plato’s view about education. Plato symbolizes many things to illustrate the real definition of education, and also to show how education is actually very much linked to the truth.

In “The Allegory of the Cave”, Plato symbolizes the cave as the world that we live in, and the life outside of the cave represents the reality. According to Plato, getting outside of the cave is about getting educated, and Plato defines education as a transition from dark to light. Plato implies that many of the people see only the shadows of the true reality and want to resist to see the actual truth because seeing the truth can be painful. Since it is easier for people to be ignorant and accept what has been offered to them, Plato believes that seeing the truth requires some assistance and even force. He insists that we need to force ourselves to learn the truth and discover the reality. As a result, Plato believes that if our idea of truth changes, then our education will change as well. The person who leaves the cave shows that we all have a capacity and a chance to get educated; however not everyone has a desire to learn. According to Plato, education involves seeing the truth, and it is important for people to actually want to learn new things. In conclusion, for Plato, education is a personal and a transformative experience. The people in the cave need to be willing or sometimes even forced to get educated; therefore, education is the development of the character and the conversion of the soul.

There are definitely some similarities between Plato’s idea of education and the Socratic method of self-examination. In “Allegory of the Cave” when a person who has knowledge of reality came back to the cave, the others in the cave rejected him. Instead of questioning their beliefs, the people in the cave rejected the person who wanted to give information to them since they were comfortable in their own ignorance. Plato’s idea of education requires self-desire of learning with a whole body and soul. Similarly, the Socratic method of self-examination portrays the same values. Socrates challenged others to question themselves about their inner self and stated that we actually know less than we think. What he means is that when we accept that we know less than we think we know or in order words if we question what we know only then we can get to the truth. In “Allegory of the Cave” Plato’s idea of education projects the same idea. The people who stay in the cave don’t question their beliefs and accept what they are shown. Plato implies that only people who question their beliefs and accept to learn new things can only get to the truth or get educated. In addition, since Socratic self-examination requires asking ourselves question to get us to the truth, they are similar in some ways.

I agree with Plato’s idea of education. I also believe that people have to have a desire to learn about things. Some things can’t be forced, and it should be the person’s own eager to discover new things. Like the prisoner who wanted to leave the cave and explore things, students have to be willing to get an education. Education can’t be bought or be received by anyone. One should get it for him or herself. A teacher can give hours of lessons and information, but it is the decision of the student to listen and understand them. As Plato mentions, teachers are there to lead but it’s depends on students to come to their own conclusions. I think this idea of education is completely right. Forcing people to get an education is not only wrong but it is also ineffective. True and effective education only possible if a person actually wants to get educated.

In conclusion, Plato states that education is about willingness to see the truth, and since it is easier for human beings to be ignorant and believe what they are offered, Plato thinks assistance or even force is necessary. In “Allegory of the Cave” Plato is actually reflecting his own idea of education to us by forcing us to think that we are the prisoners. However, since we believe that we are not prisoners we want to learn and discover about the truth. On the other hand, Plato’s idea of education has similarities with Socratic self-examination. Both of the concepts are about reaching true knowledge by questioning inner selves. Lastly, I agree with Plato’s idea of education. I think this is how education needs to be. Forcing people to learn things is meaningless and ineffective. People need to have a desire to get educated in order to truly receive an education.

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“The Allegory of the Cave”. (2020, Mar 07). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/the-allegory-of-the-cave/

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