Analogy of the Cave

Heloise Tudor
Mind Map by , created over 5 years ago

A mindmap that includes the story of the Cave Analogy and the symbolism present in it. For AS-level Philosophy.

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Heloise Tudor
Created by Heloise Tudor over 5 years ago
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Analogy of the Cave
1 In 'Republic' Plato demonstrates his ideas about human knowledge (in relation to reality and the Theory of the Forms)
2 Symbolism
2.1 The cave = the visible world we live in, WoA
2.2 Escaped prisoner = philosopher (Socrates/Plato)
2.3 Prisoners = humanity
2.4 Shadows + echoes = our perception of reality, empirical knowledge, copies of Forms
2.5 Outside = true reality, world of the Forms
2.6 Sun = Form of the Good
2.7 Journey = discovering true knowledge
2.8 Prisoner dying = Socrates' death, due to ignorance
2.9 Return to the cave = philosopher trying to explain his ideas. Plato's belief that those with philosophical knowledge should lead society.
3 The analogy:
3.1 A dark cave connected to the outside world by a long passage. Inside is a row of prisoners. They are chained up with their backs to the entrance, unable to move.
3.2 Behind prisoners is a bright fire, people move past the cave all day carrying things. Their shadows projected on the wall, and voices echo around.
3.2.1 This is their perceived reality
3.3 A prisoner is released. The sunlight blinds and confuses him but he comes to understand the world outside the cave illuminated by the Sun.
3.4 He returns to the cave and is blinded by the darkness. The others don't understand his experiences as they only know the shadows+echoes. He can't play their guessing game anymore. They may kill him for bringing confusion to their safe world.
4 Analogy = comparing one thing with another that's similar to explain something

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