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Allegory of the Cave by Plato (Essay Sample)


Discussing Plato\'s article

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Allegory of the Cave by Plato
The allegory of the cave by Plato is a metaphor in the western philosophy. This beautiful allegory has been used to represent the effects of understanding in humans. In the allegory, philosophers could draw that there are two types of knowledge. The first type of knowledge is factual. This kind of knowledge is based on information which is told and is expected to be believed and accepted as the right knowledge. The second type is that knowledge which is learnt through experience. This type of knowledge usually has a personal meaning to the individual gaining it. These two types of knowledge help us understand how to develop as individuals and contribute in a community.
As Plato (360 B.C.E) alleges, these two types of knowledge represent the reality of the two aspects of our lives. As in the allegory, the first type of knowledge in a human is based on what they are taught to believe is true by others. This could be compared to the situation when the prisoners in the allegory are chained facing the wall of the cave. As they believed the images and sounds made by the puppeteers to be their only reality, we too believe everything that we are told to be the only reality before personally experiencing it.
On the other hand, the second type of knowledge is based on the real life experiences. Just as in the cave the prisoners progress in their understanding of reality after being exposed to the fire and puppeteers and then to the sun, our experiences continue to progress as we continue to explore different areas of the world (Plato 360 B.C.E). This allegory could be interpreted in different areas of life. They include personal, religious, and political.
In the personal interpretation, most individuals have a familiar order of their lives that they believe to accep...
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