Plato's Cave

951 Words 4 Pages
Stories of escaped prisoners usually do not elicit an excited response. Yet when philosophers mention Plato’s Cave Allegory, the freed prisoner becomes something to be seen as good. This story Plato tells has become a foundation for many later forms of philosophy. It has actually been so influential that it impacts the arcs of books, movies, and all types of pop culture. So what makes Plato’s Allegory of the Cave so impactful? It isn't in the story itself, but what philosophical principles he is illustrating.
Plato's Allegory of the Cave begins with prisoners in a cave. These prisoners are chained down so they can only see the cave wall. Behind them, people walk with puppets, projecting shadows onto the wall that the prisoners see. The prisoners,
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He thinks that the prisoner would see the fire and later the sun and feel pain. He says the prisoner would hurt their eyes and want to return to the cave. He also says that at first the freed prisoner would not believe the real world is true, they would still think the shadows are reality. This relates to Plato's theory of forms, showing that humans can not have an understanding of the forms based on their own perception, it comes more from their deeper intuition. The “forms” are the absolute; they are a perfect example of something that exist in the world of forms. However, Plato says if the prisoner was forced to go through the motions, their eyes would adjust to the sun and they could begin to see the world for what it is, only believing that the cave shadows aren't real until they see it for themself. Plato continues to compare this to humans, saying people would respond in a similar way. He says that philosophers are similar to the freed prisoner after the prisoner's eyes adjust. Philosophers work through the pain of learning the truth and accept it. He furthers this comparison by saying the freed prisoner would feel an obligation to return to the cave and free the others. Similar to the way philosophers reach out to the masses to question and spread

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