Plato's Analogy of the Cave


Metaphysics: the field of philosophy concerned with the ultimate nature of reality.


  • There are 2 different worlds, Intelligible and Visible. The Visible (material world) is a shadow.
  • Plato is a dualist and his rationalism comes from the Cave and the Forms.

The CAVE is the world we live in. Its the "real world" to us.

The PRISONERS are people like you and me. We take what we know for granted and show empirical knowledge (A posteriori) they know nothing different.

The CHAINS are human thoughts and desires that hold us back from achieving our true potential.

The SHADOWS are "the particulars" they are the objects of our world and are a reality but not true reality. A poor limitation of reality.

The FIRE is the minimal goodness - goodness we see in our world

The ESCAPEE is the philosopher. His desire to learn makes him leave the cave - his desire to spread knowledge brings him back.

The DIFFICULT ASCENT is the prisoner


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