AS Philosophy: Plato

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Plato's analogy of the Cave comes from which book?
The Republic.
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The book, The Republic, can be described as what type of text?
A political, philosophical, sociological text OR a socio-political philosophical text.
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The analogy of the Cave is both an analogy and an allegory. What is an analogy and what is an allegory>
An analogy is a comparison of two things or situations, one of which you understand and one of which you don't. One is used to understand the other. An allegory is a symbolic description.
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Why is Plato's cave an analogy?
He uses the situation of the prisoner in the cave to help us understand his beliefs about the world and also how we came to be.
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How is Plato's cave an allegory?
The story is not a literal description of a prisoner's confinement and journey out of the cave, but is symbolic of the effects of education on the human soul, this obtaining of knowledge symbolised by his learning of world outside the cave.
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What is the literal synopsis of the allegory?
Prisoners are confined in an underground den(the cave), and one escapes and leaves the cave where he finds there is a world beyond it's walls. In the cave there is a wall which the prisoners face where a fire reflects shadows dancing.
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Plato didn't believe there was one world. What did he believe in relation to this statement?
Plato believed in two worlds, a world of forms and a world of particulars. The WofP was a mere illusion of the WofF, this being the perfect world. Everything in the WofP(live here when alive), was a manifestation of everything in the WofF.
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Plato also had beliefs about the birth of humans in the WofP. In one word, sum up his beliefs.
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What is transmigration?
The idea that our soul is created in the WofF as perfect. To become a human, the soul must find a vessel in a body. Transmigration occurs when the soul in the WofF is joined to a body in the WofP and thus results the creation of a human being.
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In one word, how can this belief be summarised?
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Does Plato believe we as humans are primarily a soul or a body?
A soul. The soul is the person, whilst the body is like clothes dressing the soul.
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Plato believed we are not only perfect, but _____ in the WofFs?
Omniscient, ie all knowing.
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Why does Plato believe we are not omniscient in the WofPs?
He believes two things that occur during transmigration cause us to forget all previous knowledge, the impact of the senses on the body and the trauma of birth.
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With regards to the soul, Plato believed there were three different levels or grades of soul. What were they and what did they symbolise?
Philosophical soul: rational person, a lover of wisdom/truth, an Entrepreneurial soul: a spirited person, a solider, desires for money/power, and a Worker soul: an appetitive person.
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Which was the highest level of soul?
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What symbols does Plato use in his allegory of the Cave?
The Cave, the prisoners, the escapee prisoner, the fire, the shadows, the shackles, the world outside the cave, the sun, and the pathway.
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What does the Cave represent?
The WofPs.
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What do the prisoners represent?
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What does the escapee prisoner represent?
A philosopher, or a person with a philosophical soul.
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What does the fire represent?
A manifestation of the Sun, burning desire for knowledge.
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What does the Sun represent?
The ultimate form, the Form of the Good.
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What does the pathway represent?
The pathway to knowledge, the journey from the WofPs to the WofFs.
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What do the shackles and chains represent?
The impact of the senses and the trauma of birth.
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What do the shadows represent?
The manifested forms in the WofPs.
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How do they represent this?
The shadows are a reflection of the puppets being moved in front of the fire. It is not the puppets we can see, but their reflection, thus we are not seeing the puppets in their purest form. The same principle applies with everything in the WofPs.
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Describe the hierarchy within Plato's forms?
Form of the Good being the ultimate form, then three categories of forms(things, concepts, characteristics).
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What are all these forms otherwise known as?
Transcendental ideals.
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The WofFs differs from the WofPs in the respect they are in different "states". The WofPs is in a constant state of what?
Flux, ie change.
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How does Plato, based on his beliefs, explain how we learn as human beings?
Plato believes learning is not obtaining new knowledge, but remembering knowledge we previously obtained when we were omniscient in the WofFs.
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What is meant by the word Doxa?
What seems to be.
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How is this word applicable to the WofPs?
The imperfect forms in the WofPs seem to be the genuine, perfect forms, however they are a manifestation of their perfect forms.
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What term could be used to describe what the escapee aims to obtain from his journey?
Episteme, ie genuine knowledge.
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What state of mind would Plato say the shackled prisoners are in?
A. Eikasia, ie mere imagining.
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Why is the sun the ultimate form, ie the Form of the Good?
It enables things to exist and to be seen as it provides light and existence.
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The sun is oxymoronic. How?
It provides light, but also blinds.
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How would one apply this to the analogy of the cave?
The sun allows the prisoner see the world outside of the cave, however having been submerged in the darkness of the cave, the intensity of it's light blinds him.
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The book, The Republic, can be described as what type of text?


A political, philosophical, sociological text OR a socio-political philosophical text.

Card 3


The analogy of the Cave is both an analogy and an allegory. What is an analogy and what is an allegory>


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


Why is Plato's cave an analogy?


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Card 5


How is Plato's cave an allegory?


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