In Plato’s the Allegory of the cave he explores the concept of education through the allegory of prisoners in the darkness. Most, people would agree that with out knowledge and education a person’s life could never be fully illuminated into the full enlightenment of the world. In the Allegory of the cave Plato uses symbolism to represent the nature of education to the people. In this paper we will explore the nature of education, the effects of change and returning to re-educate the people and a contemporary view of Plato’s ideas of education as well as concluding with his position as an essentialist.
The allegory of the cave tells us what education is about. In the cave, the citizens never see “reality” they only get to see the shadows on the wall that the Forms cast. Because they have never seen anything else, they think the forms are reality. They are chained so they cannot look behind them or gain any insight from the people around them who also think that the shadows are reality as well. If one of them can break free into the light of day, that person “the philosopher” or a person seeking truth according to Plato may then be able to come back into the cave to enlighten the others by others the people or citizens about what reality is. The purpose of education is the same. Although there are many intermediate goals the ultimate goal of education is to move us out of the cave, or to enlighten us to the world you could say.
The meaning of the prisoner returning in the cave is very simple it represents the education of the people. He wants to tell the other prisoners what he has learned. In other words he wants to share the wisdom that he has acquired by seeing things for himself. Although the ex-prisoner might want to stay in the sun, meditating on truth, he cannot. His duty is to return to the cave and let others know the truth. Plato talks about his return saying, “that when he enters the cave again, although, his eyes will not be able to see in the dark any longer. He will stumble and look foolish. His words will not make sense. Some will mock him others will fear him. Some will try to kill him because he is trying to bring change”. He also says that those who return will at first not even be able to compete with prisoners because the darkness is so foreign to them. They must learn how to see in the dark again in order to communicate to the prisoners or in other words no one really wants to except change so you have to be able to speak to people on there level so they can comprehend what your saying. By returning you are bringing yourself back down to the peoples level so that you can educate them so that they can one day be able to see the light for them selves.
The relationship of "Allegory of the Cave" to learning and education. The "Allegory of the Cave" is Plato's attempt to explain the relationship between knowledge and ignorance. Starting with the image of men in fetters that limit their movement and force them to look only ahead, this is the idea that all men and women are bound by the limits of their ignorance. Men and women are restricted by the ...
Today Plato would still have the same principles for education that he had for the people in the Republic the people in our society as a whole still need levels of education that are not necessarily being provided to them. If we go more in in depth education is provided but it’s not made to be a necessity or a value in our underprivileged communities with in most cases are still in the cave. That’s why it is so important for people that have grown up in a underprivileged environment to give back to there community, not so much with there money but with there time. When people see someone else from a similar situation make it through or in spite of there circumstances they feel as though they can too and that’s what I believe Plato was trying to show us about education. Education is the light of the world and without it we are all in darkness.
In conclusion, nothing in the world is perfect, we as people all have flows and because of this we all most try to educate our selves to become better people. Plato believed that there where two different realities as he expressed in his allegory of the cave, the flowed and unperfected world of the cave or our perceived reality without education and the perfect would out side of the darkness of the cave. In that notion or belief that we can come closer to enlightenment if we educate our selves and view the world through our own eyes and not how other people tell us to preserve the world I would have to agree with Plato and his essentialist beliefs. It is only by first understanding the true nature of education and then using that understanding to guide other into the light that we will one day evolve into the type of society that Plato was hoping for, for the republic.
By the beginning of Book II of Plato’s The Republic, many questions have been brought upon the table involving the definition of justice. Polemarchus argues that justice is doing good to your friends and harm to your enemies. Thrasymachus argues that justice is the advantage of the stronger. Socrates finds flaws in both of these definitions, but discovers another important question about the ...
Plato. “The Simile of the Cave.” Republic. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1974. 240-48. Print.