Plato lays great stress on the disciplining function of reason. Major political destinies can be judged in terms of wisdom, feasibility, logic, moral responsibility, and other criteria that make the general intellectual competence of an electorate a relevant and urgent issue.
Justice for them is not just the justice of Athens or Sparta or any other particular community, but universal justice, justice as such. But, whether true or false, my opinion is that in the world of knowledge the idea of good appears last of all, and is seen only with an effort; and, when seen, is also inferred to be the universal author of all things beautiful and right, parent of light and of the lord of light in this visible world, and the immediate source of reason and truth in the intellectual; and that this is the power upon which he who would act rationally, either in public or private life must have his eye fixed.
Even if one admits that expert knowledge is necessary for the government of a commonwealth, and that most ordinary people do not have a sufficient grasp of all the social, administrative, legal, and other relevant details that go into running a government, people nevertheless need not relinquish their right to appoint the officials of an administration, or to recall them, if the results of their performance seem unsatisfactory.
Disgusted by the belligerent and self-destructive policies of his native city, he stayed out of politics and spent most of his time and energy pursuing philosophy. Plato explains that the world is divided into two realms, the visible which we grasp with our senses and the intelligible which we only grasp with our mind.
If the prisoner did not question his beliefs about the shadows on the wall, he would never have discovered the truth. He believed that everyone is capable of learning, but it is down to whether the person desires to learn or not. What do shadows, puppets, original things, and the sun stand for?
The rich, as he saw, had mostly their special interests in mind, and during the time of their short-lived regimes they had shown to what length they could go to defend the advantages of the few against the majority of ordinary people.
To a large extent they would agree with what the conservative scholar and journalist H. He abandoned his political career and turned to philosophy, opening a school on the outskirts of Athens dedicated to the Socratic search for wisdom.
Like the prisoners chained in the cave, each human being perceives a physical world that is but a poor imitation of a more real world. A rational state of affairs could not come about on the basis of Athenian politics-as-usual, however.
When he approaches the light his eyes will be dazzled, and he will not be able to see anything at all of what are now called realities. It had been their incompetence, as well as that of the owner, that has brought Athens to ruin in the past: In all probability, none of these is actually supposed to serve as the main reason why justice is desirable.
Beauty is that which all beautiful things have in common, art is that which all works of art have in common, justice is that which all cases of justice have in common, and so forth.
Just souls are rewarded for one thousand years, while unjust ones are punished for the same amount of time. True, he said; how could they see anything but the shadows if they were never allowed to move their heads?
Imagine then a ship or a fleet in which there is a captain who is taller and stronger than any of the crew, but who is a little deaf and has a similar infirmity in sight, and whose knowledge of navigation is not much better. Some way off, behind and higher up, a fire is burning, and between the fire and the prisoners above them runs a road, in front of which a curtain wall has been built, like a screen at puppet shows between the operators and their audience, above which they show their puppets.
They are not only familiar with this or that person or group, but comprehend human nature in general. The Failure of Democracy Plato is often described as the greatest Western philosopher.
And suppose further that the prison had an echo which came from the other side, would they not be sure to fancy when one of the passers-by spoke that the voice which they heard came from the passing shadow?
The critical ideas of Plato's Republic thus survive--in the gap between an acknowledged ideal of democracy and a largely undemocratic reality. No question, he replied. Will he not fancy that the shadows which he formerly saw are truer than the objects which are now shown to him? This is how the Republic portrays politics in a democracy:The Allegory of the Cave can be found in Book VII of Plato's best-known work, The Republic, a lengthy dialogue on the nature of justice.
Often regarded as a utopian blueprint, The Republic is dedicated toward a discussion of the education required of a Philosopher-King. Excerpt 1 From Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” Between the fire and the prisoners there is a raised way and a low wall built along the way like the screen which puppet players have in front of them over which they show the puppets.
Excerpts From “Allegory of the Cave” From Plato’s Republic An allegory is a figurative mode of conveying meaning; it is a story which compares events to something similar but unstated. It is up to the reader to interpret the true meaning that the author is trying to convey.
“The Allegory of the Cave.” Excerpt from Plato, Republic, Book VII, A D 8, translated by Paul Shorey (Loeb Classical Library/Perseus Project). A summary of Book VII in Plato's The Republic. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Republic and what it means.
Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. Plato, The Allegory of the Cave, excerpt from Book VI, The Republic. appears in Book VII of Plato's most widely read work, The Republic, a multifaceted dialogue on the nature of justice. Plato, Allegory of the Cave.
Susan E. Gallagher, Intro to Political Thought, Political Science Dept., UMass Lowell.Download