Reality And Human Perception In Plato's The Allegory Of The Cave

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Plato’s theory, ‘The Allegory of the Cave’, aims to explain the nature of reality and human perception. With this theory of his, he aims to answer questions like ‘why are we here and what is reality?’ He explains this theory as a conversation between his mentor, Socrates and one of his students, Glaucon. Plato claimed that the knowledge gained through our senses is not real knowledge. In fact, real knowledge is the knowledge that is gained through deep philosophical reasoning. Knowledge gained through our senses is very opinionated and thus is not valuable enough. In the dialogue, Socrates asks Glaucon to imagine a cave. Inside the cave are prisoners who are chained up so that their legs and necks are immobile and they are made to face a wall. Behind them is a fire and between the fire and the prisoners is a wall/walkway on which puppeteers are trespassing with objects in their hand. These objects are in the shape of human and animal figures and also everyday objects. The prisoners cannot turn back and all that they see are the shadows or flickering images of the objects being carried by the puppeteers. All that they hear are the sounds of the puppeteers when they talk. To the prisoners, this is reality because this is all they have been exposed …show more content…

They would actually be shocked to find out that whatever they had been exposed to by far and whatever they had presumed to be the ultimate reality, was in fact not so but were actually shadows of the real images. If now the prisoners were actually taken out of the cave and been exposed to the real world, the disorientation and shock would be even more severe. The light of the sun would be even brighter than that of the fire and they would be able to see the real world with their own eyes, absolutely crystal

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