Plato's Analogy Of The Cave

Submitted By kblack97
Words: 779
Pages: 4

Plato’s analogy of the cave the prisoners represent the ordinary people in the material world the chains symbolise the senses that cause us to accept all that we believe and hear.

The fire represents the copy of the form of the good and it allows us to see the shadows.

The cave represents the empirical world and how enclosed it is to the real world outside of our senses.

The shadows represent the illusions that we experience in our world, through our senses.

The escapee represents the person becoming the philosopher and becoming open to the real world (world of forms)

The difficult ascent is an illustration that the road to philosophical knowledge is hard

The outside world is the realm of forms

The sun represents the form of the good the highest form it enables us to recognise all other forms

The return to the cave shows it is the philosophers duty to return to educate the others

The difficulty in adjusting to the darkness shows that once we have knowledge it is difficult to understand the realms of opinions.

The persecution given by the other prisoners show that the philosopher will be ridiculed and mistreated

Ancient Greek influence on philosophy

Plato’s concepts of the forms

Plato uses the analogy of the cave to prove the existence of the forms or ideas. (2 realms)
Plato said that it is impossible to know anything without first having an idea of something the forms exist before anything and do not change.
Plato said humans are born with no knowledge however there are certain types of knowledge we have from birth; fairness.

Criticisms of the forms:
Infinite regress: form of the forms and so on.
Quantifier shift fallacy
Subjectivism: many argue good is a subjective term and does not refer to one absolute value.
Is there a form of negative things? i.e. diseases
Does a horse have an individual form or one form for all horses?
Plato’s form of the good
Plato believed that the Forms were interrelated, and arranged in a hierarchy. The highest Form is the Form of the Good, which is the ultimate principle. Like the Sun in the Allegory of the Cave, the Good illuminates the other Forms.
By Plato’s logic, real knowledge becomes, in the end, a knowledge of goodness; and this is why philosophers are in the best position to rule. There is also a world which is outside space and time, which is not perceived through the senses, and in which everything Good is the ultimate form enables us to recognise other forms, it is eternal, unchanging and the source of all goodness is permanent and perfect or Ideal - the realm of the Forms.

Aristotle’s four causes
How things move from potentiality to actuality:
The material cause: things from which objects are made form. E.g. chair- wood
The efficient cause: the way in which objects are made. E.g. craftsmen
The formal cause: characteristics
The final cause: the