The Allegory of the Cave How does Plato’s allegory represents the activity of philosophy? 9/23/2010 HZT4Ua Diana MS. The Allegory of the Cave The Allegory of the Cave is a metaphor that can be seen to describe many aspects and situations in life that one had no control or choice over. The reason Plato uses many metaphors in his allegory is to think or ‘philosophize’ about the world around us because in fact our understanding of the world is very limited.
This is due to the fact that we live in a world of shadows and not reality to whom very little is actually known about by everyone. The metaphors are seen to actually represent a society with all its people, truths, hidden meanings, problems, solutions etc… The meanings transferred in the allegory of the cave apply to philosophy because it shows the philosophers position in society. It gives the philosopher the opportunity to philosophize/think about what exists/reality and what does not exist in our surrounding environment.
To society, the allegory of the cave contemplates many issues related to man in his society. Such issues include human’s ability to be ignorant or knowledgeable, free or imprisoned, stubborn, lazy, active, etc… by choosing either to or not to search for answers to many of the issues that arise continuously. Moreover, The Allegory of the Cave is about ignorance and learning because the men in the cave are ignorant or unaware of the outside world that exists except for the shadows that they saw passing by on the walls.
The man who is freed engages in the process of learning from the moment he is released from the cave and is forced to adapt to the new conditions and situations that now surround him. In addition, the chains are used to symbolize the limited amount of information that a person has about reality. For whatever reason, this limited amount of information can be considered to be a type of ignorance.
Last but not least, as humans in this world, many of us are really ignorant about many important issues that surround us in or everyday lives. We are unfamiliar of many things in life and are either unaware of it or simply choose not to bother with it. The world that many of us choose to live in is in fact very different from reality itself. However, many of us choose to live in such ignorance or denial when it comes to certain issues and this is due to many factors.