Socrates's View Of The Cave Analysis

560 Words3 Pages
To begin, Socrates asks Glaucon, to imagine a cave in which prisoners are detained. These prisoners have been in the cave since their birth, and they are completely immobile. A chain around their neck forces them to stare at only wall in front of them (514a). Behind the prisoners is a fire and between the fire and the prisoners is a raised walkway, on which people can walk. These people are puppeteers, who use the fire to project everyday objects on the cave wall (514b). Since they could not move their heads, the shadows produced by the puppeteers are all the prisoners can perceive. They accept these images to be the truth, rather than just shadowy representations of what is actually in existence. In Plato’s theory, the cave represents people who believe that knowledge comes from what we see and hear in the world – empirical evidence. The raised wall and chains symbolize the limitations in our thinking. The cave shows that believers of empirical knowledge are trapped in a ‘cave’ of misunderstanding when Socrates proposes the question- what if one of the prisoners was to be freed and “compelled to turn his neck around and…show more content…
But as his eyes adjusted, the newly freed prisoner would be able to see beyond only shadows; he would see dimensions and reflections. The escaped prisoner represents the Philosopher, who seeks knowledge outside of the cave and outside of the senses. Here, the Sun represents philosophical truth and knowledge and the Prisoner’s intellectual journey represents a philosopher’s journey when finding truth and wisdom. In a way this allegory represents Plato’s idea that knowledge cannot be transferred from teacher to student, but rather that education consists in directing student 's minds toward what is real and important and allowing them to apprehend it for
Open Document