Analogy of Plato's Cave

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  • Plato's Cave
    • The Analogy
      • 1) The Analogy is set in a cave
      • 2) At the back of the cave there are prisoners
        • Bound up to only face the back wall
          • Never seeing the enterance
          • There since birth, this is all they know
      • 3) Behind the prisoners there is a fire and a walkway
      • 4) Occasionally someone would walk past
        • Their shadow was projected onto back wall
          • The prisoners would also hear the noise of the people
            • Associated the two and thought this was the true form
              • This was all they knew
      • 5) One of the prisoners breaks free and runs for the way out
        • The run was long and painful
      • 6) When he got outside he was blinded and hurt by the light
        • Eventually got used to it and saw beauty
      • 7) The prisoner rushes back to tell the others what he has seen
      • 8) The others don't like what he has seen
        • They conspire to kill him
    • Used
      • To demonstrate the path of enlightenment
      • To explain the link of worlds
        • Real World
          • An 'illusion' according to Plato
            • Empirical Knowledge tricks us
              • Knowledge gained through senses
                • A posteriori
              • We experience imperfect copies of Universals
                • Particulars
                  • Hold the essence of something
                    • Dogness
                    • Treeness
                    • Chairness
                    • Which is why we ask 'what kind of tree is that?' and not 'what is that?'
                    • We are able to recognize essence as our souls are from the Realm of Forms
                • The body is imperfect as it changes
        • Realm of Forms
          • The realm where every object exists in it's perfect form
            • Cannot change as they are perfection
              • The 'Universals'
                • We experience imperfect copies of Universals
                  • Particulars
                    • Hold the essence of something
                      • Dogness
                      • Treeness
                      • Chairness
                      • Which is why we ask 'what kind of tree is that?' and not 'what is that?'
                      • We are able to recognize essence as our souls are from the Realm of Forms
                  • The body is imperfect as it changes
    • Meaning behind the Analogy
      • 1) This is representation of the real world
      • 2) The prisoners are the unenlightened
      • 3 + 4) The representation that empirical knowledge is tricking us
      • 5) The one that breaks free is the philosopher and his need to learn
        • It was painful as the path to enlightenment hurts
      • 6) The new way of thinking hurts so he is blinded
        • The Sun represents the Form of the Good
        • The beauty is the perfection of the Realm of Forms
      • 7+8) The Philosopher wants to tell the others what he has learnt
        • They reject his ideas as they oppose everything they know
          • So they try to eliminate the treat

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