Myth of the cave

Myth of the cave

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  • Welcome to my school, I'm Plato! I love to write dialogues with my thoughts about subjects like ontology, epistemology, politics, ethics...
  • People that don't know about maths can't enter here.
  • Which is the true knowledge?
  • Greece, 4th century BC. Here lived Plato, a very important philosopher. He was founder of "The academy".
  • After much time of thinking about the true knowledge that humans can achieve, something came up to his mind: the image of a dark, deep and undergrounded cave:
  • "Inside this cave there are people. But all of them are not the same. There are prisoners in chains that can't move, there are more people behind them, and there is a little group leaving the cave."
  • The path from the deepest part of the cave to the outside is a metaphore about education and the human learning process. The less knowledge you have, the deeper you are in the cave!
  • The Republic: Myth of the cave
  • "In the deeper part of this cave were the prisoners. They were looking at the cave's wall, because of the chains. They had been all of their lives like that. Behind them, a group of people were behind a wall, walking with objects over their heads. With the light of a fire that was between the wall and them, the shadows of the objects were seen by the prisoners in the cave's wall."
  • "Meanwhile, there is a part of the people inside the cave that has been able to get outside. It's the first time they see natural light, they are blind and very surprised about discovering a total new world. After a time, their eyes get used to the light, and they leave the cave to live outside."
  • This isn't a simple story. It's an allegory that Plato used to explain the different stages of knowledge. Prisoners represent the people who don't use reason and only knows things through the senses. The people with objects manipulate them. The Sun represents the Ideas, which are the perfect and eternal truth. People can only achieve them with reason, and these people are philosophers.
  • After thinking about this, I wrote it in a dialogue form in one of my books, "The Republic".
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