The allegory of the cave was presented to compare the effect of education and the lack of it on our nature

The allegory of the cave was presented to compare the effect of education and the lack of it on our nature

The allegory of the cave was presented to compare the effect of education and the lack of it on our nature. This myth describes a group of prisoners, who has lived chained to the wall of a cave all their lives facing a blank wall. These Prisoners watched shadows projected on the wall by object/things passing behind them and begins to ascribe forms to these shadows. Following Plato’s Socrates, the shadows are viewed by the prisoners as reality. So, Plato explained how a Philosopher is like a prisoner who is freed from a cave and come to understand that the shadows on the wall do Not sum up to the reality at all, as he can now perceive the true form of reality rather than the mere shadow seen on the wall by the prisoners. Plato went ahead to explain that people are sort of sitting in their comfort zone(cave) their whole lives in ignorance facing away from the light, seeing shadows pass through the cave and never really know what they are while a philosopher is someone who stands and recognizes that the changes in light are actually the true action outside the cave.

The allegory of cave tests our knowledge/ perception on what is true. We are all locked in a cave where only shadows of truth are projected and most of us are very far away from breaking out of the cave and discover truth of the world and of ourselves. Most of us prefer to stick with the general idea and social norms that we have been thought from childhood because of the majority consensus. Unfortunately, thinking like this often leads to a life missed opportunities and mediocrity because we did not realize how much more of reality actually exists outside. However, some people have dared to step out from the shadow reality, not because they are better than everyone else or that they have escapes the cave but simply because they have decided to step out from their comfort zone, face their fears, abandoning stubbornness, self-rule and ignorance in strife for the truth and to increase their knowledge just like the philosophers.

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Under censorship, the Republic mentioned censorship over story makers, with the accepted stories to be told and the ones not accepted to be banned, the modes of music which would be played, and which should be banned and the kind of painting/craft that should be allowed. Plato makes a systematic case for censoring all arts so that tales of the wailing and lamentation of men would be refined because strong and moral man will not grieve the death of a friend by

moaning and wailing. He also mentioned that censorship should be extended to all craftsmen on the painting they do, to insure the development of good character. For a good portrait of the gods and heroes will show them as worthy and exalted being and not tales of the gods and heroes fighting and bickering and acting immorally. Also, a moral citizen’s soul will be composed and dignified, but many musical modes stir us up inside and make us jangled and unsettled. Plato mentioned censoring the story makers because a proper moral of the story will teach that good people meet good ends and bad men meet bad ends and not a tragic poet which often have bad men profit and protagonists fail and suffer despite their virtues. I would agree with the Plato’s regulation for ideal state because it is necessary to ensure the different elements of society maintained their proper roles and do not waiver and to cultivate our own individual progression within the society, as well as the progression of society as a whole.

According to the state created in the Republic, guardians should own no private property, should live and eat together at government expense, and should earn no salary greater than necessary to supply their most basic needs. Under this regime, no one will have any venal motive for seeking a position of leadership, and those who are chosen to be guardians will govern solely from a concern to seek the welfare of the state in what is best for all of its citizens. Since the ideal state comprises members of three distinct classes: rulers, soldiers, and the people. They should work together for the common good, provide a ready account of the need to develop significant social qualities in the sense that the rulers are responsible for making decisions according to which the entire city will be governed, they must have the virtue of wisdom, the capacity to comprehend reality and to make impartial judgments about it. The soldiers are charged with the defense of the city against external and internal enemies, on the other hand, need the virtue of courage, the willingness to carry out their orders in the face of danger without regard for personal risk. The rest of the people in the city must follow its leaders instead of pursuing their private interests, so they must exhibit the virtue of moderation, the subordination of personal desires to a higher purpose. When each of these classes performs its own role appropriately and does not try to take over the function of any other class, the entire city as a whole will operate smoothly, exhibiting the harmony that is genuine justice.

It is generally believed today that democracy, “government of the people by the people and for the people,” is the best and only fully justifiable political system. The distinct features of democracy are freedom and equality but Plato would be objectionable to such system. He criticizes the direct and unchecked

democracy of his time precisely because of its leading features. Firstly, although freedom is for Plato a true value, democracy involves the danger of excessive freedom, of doing as one likes, which leads to anarchy. Secondly, equality, related to the belief that everyone has the right and equal capacity to rule, brings to politics all kinds of power-seeking individuals, motivated by personal gain rather than public good. Democracy is thus highly corruptible. It opens gates to demagogues, potential dictators, and can thus lead to tyranny. Plato’s main charge against the democracy he knows from the ancient Greek political practice is that it is unstable, leading from anarchy to tyranny, and that it lacks leaders with proper skill and morals although it may not be applicable to modern liberal democracies. Plato argues that politics needs expert rulers, and they cannot come to it merely by accident, but must be carefully selected and prepared in the course of extensive training. He does not see the best social and political order in a democratic republic because the quality of human life can be improved if people learn to be rational and understand that their real interests lie in harmonious cooperation with one


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