Monday, November 22, 2010

Plato's "Allegory of the Cave"

What are your thoughts about Plato's allegory?  The one we dramatized in class today. BLOG.

Looking for the light?
Or merely viewing shadows?


Solipsism, Absolute or Relative Truth?


  1. These images are quite profound Mr. Balgley. Where did you find them? I used to believe in solipsism before but now I think that's crazy. Haha :)

  2. What I think the first picture represents is hope. Hope meaning, that the people chained hope that they will find the light and see it. They all look sad. Maybe all of these people are sinful, maybe that is why they are chained.

  3. All of these images simply represent that the truth is seen in any way that the person sees fit. if one sees darkness as an absolute truth other people will see light as an absolute truth, it's all so relative.

  4. I was very interested on today's topic in class. As for me, I know nothing about Greek mythology, but in class i learned a lot! Especially about Prometheus.Prometheus was a Titan, one of the children of Ocean. He and his brother Epimetheus were Zeus' and Hera's cousins. They were not as powerful as Zeus and Hera and their brothers and sisters, but still had some god-like powers. They were very big, giants (that is why the famous ship was called the Titanic, because it was very big). I enjoyed today's class discussion.

  5. The fist image of the people with their back to the sun gives me a sense of a lost person serching for help in the wrong place. This ressembles a life that is dictated by either a strong government or a person infactuated with religion. Being caught up in the life that someone else wants you to live ignoring their own individuality.

    To me the second image the cave with several objects is a huge metaphor for living the life of ignorance. The sun wich symbolises the absolute truth, is really interesting.I think that the light ressembles more like individual reality and the people are choosing to follow something that is false. To my understanding this is like a person that is really caught up on living the life of perfection failing to live the life of reality and seeing the world to what it really is.

    The last image i think that it shows how something may seem to be a certain way and end up to be completely different than what you thought. A person may believe that they know everything about something ignoring reality, like the old saying " not everything that shines is gold."

  6. For me in the first picture all the people seem to be miss leaded by a light that could represent the real truth or (absolute truth as we discussed in class), however it is shown in massive quantities. Therefore it could also be a bigger truth that they don't want to realize.

    in the second there is not much to since we already since the picture!!!! who ever in my opinion what it instead of them not to be able to see they just don't want to accept the reality and they rather sick with what is more appealing to them.

    & for the 3 one i agree with the teacher; that is an alternative of the reality.

  7. It's interesting to think about a relative truth vs the absolute truth, because in essence truth should always be absolute. It is one of those things such as freedom, which can only either be or not be. Conditional freedom is not truly freedom in the same way that relative truth is not really true. Nonetheless, as it is shown in Plato's allegory, the truth that one believes is derived from what one knows and has experienced even if that knowledge and experience are lies.

    I also agree with Katherine Paulino in her statement that the second image "is a huge metaphor for living in ignorance". That is what I first concluded after reading the allegory. Ignorance keeps people in the shadows and in order to see the absolute truth one must gain knowledge. Nevertheless, the truth can prove to be a burden and hard to accept at first, as is the light for one's eyes.

  8. Looking at the first image, I believe these people are looing for hope. These people represent saddness. I believe that this light is their guide. Their guide to happiness... to the truth.
    As for the second image, I believe that the image is like a map. The key is the sun. So i believe that is is like a guide to finding hope.
    The third image I would say is a person that sees itself like a reflection. But that reflection is fading away. It can be fading away for various reasons. One reason can be that the person lost trust in itself or hope. The other reason can be that the person is sad or depressed. And the last reason can be that insecure.

  9. Yes absolute truths or even relative truths may be difficult to discern. They may, if believed, differentiate you from others. They may set you free or they may become a burden, depending on both context and individual.

  10. Absolute truth means that it is fixed while relative is logical. I think it depends on what a person believes in because this is mostly spiritual.
    For the first image, it can be many things if you look and try to analyze it. It can be them praying, waiting for god, watching a spiritual movie, or anything else with the light behind them.
    The next two images show that it can be, as in forms of shadows.
    Which one is the truth?

  11. The allegory that Socrates told his student was amazing and well thought out. Everything mentioned was a symbol for something. The story of the people who live in the darkness and only seeing shadows can be taken as as someone who ahs not seen the light (seen the world as it really is). When people only see shadows they can only see the basic structure or shape of thigns, not the details. When the man lived in the darkness that was his reality because that was all he knew, he never knew anything else so in his point of view there was nothing else. As soon as he stepped into the light he was confused, but he still believed that his world of darkness was the truth. This can be taken as someone who finally learns about the true beauties and terrors of the real world. They will still think that the world as they knew it to be before is what the world truly is. But as time progresses they will be confused as to what the truth really is. Just as the man was as he continued to live in the light. Then eventually he believed in a new truth, which was the world with the light and his world of darkness seemed silly. This allegory was beautiful and deep. It makes one think, is the truth I believe really the truth? What is real? What is truth? Is truth how the person percieves it to be? Or is the truth something bigger? This is very philosophical. Which is no surprise because Plato and Socrates were philosphers.
    I wish we would be able to read more things like this in class, but sadly this is not a Philosophy class. :(
    Also, I enjoyed reading aloud in class and would like to do that more often.

  12. I believe that these images represent a story far beyond the allegory of Socrates towards his student. Socrates only explained a few people within the first picutre, he did not explain the other two clearly.

    The thing that stands out the most to me in the first picture is the massive amount of people who are 'watching the shadows'. The whole idea that more than one person is suffering from the same fate is amazing! None of the people dare to question their reality, of which is a mere shadow to a glimpse that they will never see right. I believe that there would be more than one person who does question reality, but refuse to accept the fact that their whole life is a lie. I once have questioned reality, and a good friend of mine told me to just "go with the flow'. It is hard to accpet what is real, and what is take lightly...

    The 2nd picture clearly shows Socrates story, but without the use of a giant candle, instead it uses a more modern insturment to make the light. This picture makes me think of people who are forced to look into the shadows and have no idea that its even happening! Who would do such a thing? God?

    The 3rd picture uses the term solipsism to give an even more modern idea to show how us humans view the shadows. As talked about in class, this relates to the idea of children using their phones!

    All three pictures show the main idea of not seeing the true reality!

  13. My favorite picture is the first one, its so ironic. Although they look like they are praying, the light is deffinately behind them. The second one is very hard for me to understand honestly speaking. The third picture is how we see ourselves from another point. Obviously its showing how different we look at reality!!