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The Allegory Of The Cave By Plato And Rene Descartes

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What is Philosophy? Well, by conventional definition, Philosophy is the rational investigation of the truths and principles of being, knowledge, or conduct. This, while providing a contextual definition of the word philosophy, just scratches the surface of its actual meaning. In this essay we will attempt to answer “What is Philosophy?” by discussing the works of Plato and Rene Descartes. First, we begin by summarizing and comparing the theme of their works for similarities so as to better form a definition. In order to begin answering the question, “What is Philosophy?” we must comprehend each author’s method, themes, and goals throughout their works. Plato, being a Socratic apprentice, followed and transcribed the experiences Socrates had in his teachings and search of understanding. In Plato’s first work, The Allegory of the Cave, Socrates forms the understanding between appearance vs. reality and the deceptions we are subject to by the use of forms. In the cave, the prisoners’ experiences are limited to what their senses can tell them, the shadows on the walls, and their shackles; these appearances are all that they have to form their ideas. When one of the prisoners begins to question his reality he makes his way out of the cave and into the day light. This prisoners understanding of his reality has now expanded, thus the theory of forms; when he returns to the cave to spread the news, the others do not believe him. They have been deceived by their reality and what
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