What Is The Allegory Of The Cave Essay

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In the Republic, Plato claims that Socrates believes philosophers should be king because only philosophers have complete knowledge. In order to have a just city, it is important to combine both knowledge and wisdom. Therefore, philosophers would make good kings because they are lovers of wisdom and want to know everything. However, philosophers are not lovers of seeing. For example, the term “beauty” can be used to describe many different things. A woman, a flower and a sunset can all have “beauty”. Lovers of seeing are devoted to beautiful sounds, colors, shapes and everything fashioned, but don’t examine or reflect on the term “beauty” itself. They just acknowledge “beauty” when they see it. In contrast, a lover of the truth or wisdom are…show more content…
Many prisoners spent their lives locked up in a cave facing a wall. They do not know what exists because they have never experienced living. To the prisoners, their only reality are distorted shadows of people passing behind them that are reflected onto the wall from a fire. Their first take on reality is the sights and sounds of artificial facts. One prisoner faces his second reality when his chains come undone and turns around to realize his accusations about life so far have been false. When he escapes the cave, he realizes even more so that he has lived a life of ignorance. He faces a third reality when he sees a source of light and a new set of images. He looks at the ground and sees flowers, trees and real life humans. He finally faces his fourth reality when he looks up and sees the sun. He recognizes the sun is responsible for all that grows, the changing seasons, and acknowledges all living creatures owe their being to it. At this moment, the prisoner reaches his ultimate peak and first principle of knowledge. At first, being tied up facing the wall, he lived a life of ignorance but, once he was released from his chains inside of the cave, he began to become a lover of seeing. He saw a glimpse of human life and what was becoming his new reality. Once he went outside the cave and saw the sun, he became a lover of the truth. He understood human life and analyzed the function of the sun, gaining more knowledge and eliminating
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