Plato's Cave

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By naza42
Words 570
Pages 3
What does Plato’s analogy of the cave tell us about human beings?

Plato's analogy of the cave is intended to explain our journey to knowledge which is the purpose of philosophy. He does this by comparing an average person to someone who has been confined to an isolated life in a cave with the ability to only look at the shadows casted on the wall. This is used to represent the limitation of the human mind and their inability to look beyond their senses.
The prisoner is enslaved to a life of in cave only seeing the shadows that are casted on the wall in front of him. This symbolises an average person who has not embarked on the journey to true knowledge and is living their life only seeing what is on the surface, what they want to see. In the cave the prisoner is held by chains, this represents the power of society over the average human being and is reinforced by the influence of media which portrays a life of misapprehension. The prisoner is cloaked with a false reality and has never known life outside the cave, this tells us that human beings have become accustom to their ‘comfort zone’ and refuse to believe in a world that they have never seen. This relates to Plato’s idea that our senses are what deceive us but can we seek a world that we have never seen, heard or felt?
The mind is where all great things are conceived and no two minds are alike, this allows us to seek truth through reasoning. Plato believes that our mind is conditioned by the walls of society and humanity, causing us to think in a certain way. Although our mind is free to think as we please, we are incarcerated within our own reality keeping us within the confined walls of the cave. This tells us that most human beings will remain in the cave and have become institutionalised, they are unable to even dream of a life outside the cave and are just puppets to the world they know.


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