Plato's Republic Book VII: The Allegory Of The Cave

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This course, Inner Spaces and Altered States: Literature and Consciousness, has presented new, unique ways to perceive life and the reality we live in. By focusing on specific works of literature, this course offered discussions on the means people use to obtain these altered states, and the underlining truth of our understanding of reality. A document that embodies this theme specifically is Plato’s Republic Book VII: The Allegory of the Cave. It exemplifies the resistance society has to divergence, and the journey mankind must overcome to reach enlightenment. However, this allegory of enlightenment could be debated. This story is just one philosopher’s perception, assumptions, predisposition. What if Plato’s allegory is only of his ideal …show more content…
The nature of humanity is primitive and sheepish. He depicts the “cave dwellers” having analogous thoughts and perceptions. Plato also hinted that the “cave dwellers” had no common sense in understanding reality. I came to this contemplation with the service of Jerry H. Gill’s journal, Re-Exploring Plato’s Cave. “Plato begins by assuming that the basic condition of humankind, especially with reference to perceptual judgements, is essentially one of error and confusion” (Hill, 98). He believes the ignorance exemplified by the “cave dwellers” is universal; meaning that humanity is unaware until they discover the truth behind their perception of reality. In regard to Plato’s opinion of humanity’s competence, the philosopher judges humans and assumes that people are born into obscurity and must struggle to achieve enlightenment. “Darkness, shadows, and reflections are presented as the natural epistemological state, while knowledge and understanding are rare and difficult to achieve” (98, Hill). This thought, however, doesn’t always have to be the case. Plato struggles with his faith and humanity and lacks assurance that a person can be told to believe one thing, yet still have his own uniqueness in thoughts and perceptions of

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