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Explain Plato's Theory of Fors

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By sky110
Words 639
Pages 3
Ambreen Khan
The analogy of the cave tells us nothing about reality, discuss.

The analogy of the cave is and illustration by Plato based on his theory of forms to show people that the world we are living in is the world of appearances and the analogy shows the difficult journey it would take for the person who uses the reason to gain knowledge so that they would be able to reach the world of forms.

Some may argue that the analogy of the cave does not tell us anything about reality, as a prisoner being locked in a cave in modern day today is unlikely so how can we learn lessons from this if it is unrealistic. Also the forms are subjective such as the justification and beauty as well as expressing emotion, this thought process is very absolutist.

The idea that only if you use your reason that only if you were at the top for example a philosopher who can see the truth it is elitist. As there are people with learning difficulties maybe not able to see the truth. In today’s society we try to value everyone and believe that we are all equal.

Also this world of forms that is trying to be shown through the analogy of the cave is just a theory as there is no evidence for it, which makes everything meaningless, as it cannot be verified. As our senses are continuously deceiving us and the world of appearances is in a constant state of flux how will we ever be able to reach this world of forms if we are constantly changing and being deceived and that we will never reach this world of forms as we are stuck. A.J Ager believes that there should be a verification principle for this as then it is just simply thoughts, words and theories as nothing can be proven it is useless.

Many may debate that the analogy tell us nothing about reality unless we look closely and read between the lines but however some are unable to do this and the analogy was focused on the people in Ancient Greece at the time rather than people in today’s world. However many would disagree with this and suggest that the analogy of the cave is an illustration on reaching the world of forms and each part symbolises a certain aspect of the analogy.

Such as the cave showing that the people are shaded by their ignorance to see outside and are stuck in the world of appearances in which they believe is real through their senses and that the shadows are images created by their senses and are a deception of reality which does not have the perfect form of things. Whereas, Plato believes that our senses create and illusion and deceive us which is why we need to use the knowledge of reason to get to that idea of a perfect world.

Many will also argue that the idea of the prisoner have a painful journey out of the cave is representing that the journey to the world of forms is not easy and will be painful for the brain as well as the body to understand that our senses are constantly tricking us as the world is changing. However, we have to have a constant mentality that everything we see in the world of appearances is only a blue print and when we reach the world of forms there will be a better version of it.

To conclude I believe that to understand the analogy of the cave you must understand what each thing symbolises as that explains the difference between the world of appearances and the world of forms, which can only be reached through a difficult journey and the use of knowledge to reach reasoning behind it.

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