Howdo you know if your falsehoods are not a true reality? The Allegory of the Caveillustrated to us by Socrates has many meanings. The allegory explains theeffects of knowledge on a person and understanding reality. Socrates speaks ofthe dark cave that was filled with people who has never left the cave before.
The people are bound in a way that has forced them to look toward a wall of thecave. On this wall they have shadows acting out a seen that are shown by thefire lit behind them. The prisoners watch these stories with belief that thisis life. According to Socrates, people in general rely on their bodily sensesas their main source of understanding.
He believes people rely too much ontheir sight to interpret the world. He believes the truth is education orknowledge and we prevent ourselves from seeking this knowledge by relying toomuch on our bodily senses. Theprisoners have little knowledge and what they think they know has very littlebasis in fact; but once the prisoners become “woke” is only when they truly arefree when they gain knowledge of the world above the cave. For the prisonersand persons who have lived a sheltered life lives a life that is unexamined andfor them seems to be true and believe they have the answers to what they needto know. Thereis a complex process through which a person seeks for knowledge, and it dependson the mental capacity of a person as to how much knowledge he can acquire.
InPlato’s Republic, we can see what knowledge does for the man in the allegory ofthe cave. In this story the power of the mind that was used a control or reflectionof knowledge was shown by an experience. According to philosopher Aristotle heteaches us to “learn what ultimate intellectual virtues are and that wisdom isthe highest of all”. Knowledge from Plato and wisdom form Aristotle can beconnected through the achievement of intellect. Aristotle and Plato havedifferent views on it but it all comes down to the fact that the acquisition ofthese leads to an ultimate good in life. The Allegory of the Caveillustrated to us by Socrates has many meanings. The allegory explains theeffects of knowledge on a person and understanding reality. Overthis past semester here at Bennett College I can say that my life has been a reflectionof the allegory of the cave, somewhat in a way in my sheltered life I can saythat I only saw what I was allowed to see.
As the prisoners were able to onlylook towards the wall in darkness; my vision of how I perceive things is thesame way. My shadows were the reflections of how my matriculation of highschool and life after. Being bound in such a way of education and not chains whenthe fire was lit I believed my perceptions of what was instilled into head ofhow my life should map out I believed it. Only for me to turn around a finally see light for the first time andquestion if my visions are a true reality of what I am seeing. With my thinkingbeing complex and my thirst for knowledge to an all-time low I question if Iwould ever become “woke”. Using the term as an analogy when a person is “woke”he or she is aware of everything around them both political and social knowingwhen and how to look through the shadows on the walls. Despite how my visionsonce were of my own shadows and that I now know the truth; I still question ifI will remain like the prisoners being mentally bound about the truth of whatmy reality truly is? Wecan take Socrates allegory of the cave and relate it to our everyday life.
Knowing the truth, educating yourself and understanding reality are veryimportant. This wisdom leads us to be able to do well in the world. It allowsus to live our life with less ignorance than the man who does not care tounderstand these things. Aristotle explains there is a division in thesoul that produces a rational and an irrational part. The proper reasoning andintellect give us the truth. Proper reasoning along with intellect allows theperson to make the right decisions.
The five intellectual virtues are what allowthe soul to arrive at the truth according to Aristotle. Reasoning makes use ofthe intellectual virtues of scientific knowledge, art, prudence, intuition, andwisdom.