“Allegory of the Cave” Analysis
In Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” there are two types of knowledge that is to be understood; factually based knowledge that is told and is expected to be believed and accepted and knowledge that is learnt by experience and often has a personal meaning to the individual. By understanding these two types of knowledge we are able to better understand how they both contribute to a thriving society and help us grow as individuals. The two types of knowledge referred to by Plato in this allegory both represent two completely different aspects of us. The first type of knowledge is one that is solely based on what others tell us and we are expected to believe it. In the allegory this type of knowledge is evident when the people in the cave see the images on the cave wall created by the puppets and figures with the fire and hear the echoes. The people would label these things as reality solely because they believe what they are being told. This type of knowledge is based on truths without any type of personal connection. The second type of knowledge is based more on learned life experiences, not just believing what others tell you. This type of knowledge is evident in the allegory by representation of the Sun. It shows enlightenment upon finding entrance to the cave and being able to understand and see the world for what it really is. This knowledge would mainly have a personal Harripersaud 2
connection to the individual that would connect to a certain experience. It is this type of knowledge that Plato puts emphasis on because it is what philosophy is based around.
The limitations of these two different types of knowledge can be shown through how the prisoners react to what is around them. Although the prisoners are experiencing shadow and sounds, they do not know what they are hearing or seeing. Because they do not understand, they can only take a guess as to what they might be and accept it as reality. The ignorance of the...
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