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“The Allegory of the Cave” by Plato

“The Allegory of the Cave” describes a human community, forced to live in a dark cave. Shackles limit the prisoners’ movements so that they can see only the things in front of them. Their perception of the world is limited to the shadows they can see on the walls and the echoes they hear in the cave. When a prisoner is freed from the shackles and dragged out of the cave, he feels helpless and enraged and refuses to accept the shift in reality. Eventually, he adapts to the outside world and realizes how limited life is in the cave. In the end, he is dragged back into the cave, where his obtained knowledge is irrelevant, and others mock him, as his adaptation to the light made him lose his vision in the cave.

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Plato uses the allegory to demonstrate how limited is humans’ knowledge and how wrongful can one’s perception of the world be when based on it. Moreover, he shows how stubborn people can be in their denial when their worldview is challenged. Plato (2017) believes that the freed prisoner “would consider that what he previously saw [with his own eyes] was more unhidden than what was now being shown [to him by someone else]” (p. 3). Throughout the centuries, humans struggled with “adapting to the light”, and novel concepts (for instance, Galileo’s heliocentrism) that changed the perception of the world were often met with hostility. In the modern world, the internet has become the primary source of information for most people. Compared to traditional sources, it offers better access to information and a wider variety of expert opinions. However, some people (especially among the older generations) still prefer TV over the internet as the main source of information, as they can not overcome their habits, despite being offered a better alternative.

References

Plato (2017). The Allegory of the Cave. (T. Sheehan, Trans.). Independently Published.

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StudyCorgi. "“The Allegory of the Cave” by Plato." May 7, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/the-allegory-of-the-cave-by-plato-essay/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "“The Allegory of the Cave” by Plato." May 7, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/the-allegory-of-the-cave-by-plato-essay/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) '“The Allegory of the Cave” by Plato'. 7 May.

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