"The Cave"

I'm having to take this class at
by the class title: Philosophy. I just wanted to take a moment to
reflect on some of the text we are given to read and make note of
my interest in this particular subject. Following is an excerpt
from the text, which quite accurately depicts what I see
happening around us all every day:

The Cave

In the Republic, Plato uses a vivid allegory to explain his
two-realms philosophy. He invites us to imagine a cave in which
some prisoners are bound so that they can look only at the wall
in front of them. Behind them is a fire whose light casts shadows
of various objects on the wall in front of the prisoners. Because
the prisoners cannot see the objects themselves, they regard the
shadows they see as the true reality. One of the prisoners
eventually escapes from the cave and, in the light of the sun,
sees real objects for the first time, becoming aware of the big
difference between them and the shadow images he had always taken
for reality.

The cave, obviously, represents the world we see and experience
with our senses, and the world of sunlight represents the realm
of Forms. The prisoners represent ordinary people, who, in taking
the sensible world to be the real world, are condemned to
darkness, error, ignorance, and illusion.The escaped pris- oner
represents the philosopher, who has seen light, truth, beauty,
knowledge, and true reality.

Of course, if the philosopher returns to the cave to tell the
prisoners how things really are, they will think his brain has
been addled. This difficulty is sometimes faced by those who have
seen the truth and decide to tell others about it.

However, I believe less that the people who see the light of day
are less like just philosophers, but people who are educated, and
those who refuse to accept more than the shadows they see in the
caves as their reality to be more like the ignorant and
uneducated. Society has changed a bit in that the majority of the
people are not utterly dependent on religion and God, but have
other ideas to express of their own. However, people have not
changed in that there are those who are aware of their ignorance,
and those who are completely oblivious.

Just merely making note of the obvious here.


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