The Allegory Of The Cave In The Republic By Plato

1651 Words 7 Pages
In The Republic by Plato, the world is first introduced to the allegory of the cave. Since then, philosophic thought has been permeated by the idea that one must intentionally acknowledge biases in society and recognize that intelligence is not a natural state. Socrates allegory of the cave proves that a human being’s natural state is one of ignorance, and one must have the capacity for reason, adhere to the Form of Good, and question reality to achieve philosophical thought. Additionally, the allegory of the cave teaches us that even though Socrates believes in the soul, if the world is in fact works similar to the allegory of the cave, souls do not exist. I believe these facts are significant because not only do we see a logical gap when …show more content…
Socrates believes in the soul, apparent in The Republic through his morality and analogy of the city. However, the allegory of the cave does not acknowledge this belief, it is in fact akin to Buddhism. The first issue confronting the people of the cave, and those wishing to follow the Buddhist faith is that of people in chains of a false reality. In both philosophy and Buddhism it is essential that you must detach yourself from that material world. The climb up the cave is similar to following the eightfold path, and emerging is analogous to achieving enlightenment. In Hinduism, enlightenment would mean freedom of the soul from reincarnation, but in Buddhism there is no soul, just your body, perceptions, feelings, preferences, and consciousness. In Socrates’s allegory, once the man is free he sees his own image reflected in a puddle. As the man watches this puddle ripple, and his image change with it, he realizes that man cannot escape opinion and that man is nothing but opinion. So if man is nothing but opinion, if that is all we are, where is the soul? While some would argue that the escape from the cave is representative of ascension from sensory perception to spiritual perception, Socrates presents the allegory of the cave in such a way to also represent the ascension of thought and the image of the divided line. Socrates believes that 99% of people live only in their imagination, perceiving only images and believing in their society, as the people chained in the cave do. If one can escape the realm of imagination, you next achieve trust in that material items have no specific meanings, as the man did once he saw the objects that cast the shadows. General terms of language are not names of the physical objects that we can see; they are in fact names of things that we are not able to see, things that we can only grasp with the mind. Once

Related Documents