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Plato's Allegory of the Cave
The Allegory of the Cave, is an allegory used by the Greek philosopher Plato in his work The Republic to illustrate “our nature in its education and want of education”. (514a) The allegory of the cave is written as a fictional dialogue between Plato’s teacher Socrates and Plato’s brother Glaucon, at the beginning of Book VII (514a–520a).  Plato imagines a group of people who have lived chained in a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall by things passing in front of a fire behind them, and begin to ascribe forms to these shadows. According to Plato, the shadows are as close as the prisoners get to seeing reality. He then explains how the philosopher is like a prisoner who is freed from the cave and comes to understand that the shadows on the wall are not constitutive of reality at all, as he can perceive the true form of reality rather than the mere shadows seen by the prisoners.
More: Lectures on Modern European Intellectual History



An excerpt from Plato’s Republic, the ‘Allegory of the Cave’ is a classic commentary on the human condition. It is a story of open-mindedness and the power of possibility.Bullhead Entertainment has adapted and brought it to life by shooting thousands of high-resolution photographs of John Grigsby’s stop motion animation. For more information, visit Allegory Of The Cave - Home
See also: Simon Blackburn (Cambridge University) talks with Nigel Warburton and  David Edmonds about  what Plato really wants to say here (audio)

Plato's Allegory of the Cave

The Allegory of the Cave, is an allegory used by the Greek philosopher Plato in his work The Republic to illustrate “our nature in its education and want of education”. (514a) The allegory of the cave is written as a fictional dialogue between Plato’s teacher Socrates and Plato’s brother Glaucon, at the beginning of Book VII (514a–520a). Plato imagines a group of people who have lived chained in a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall by things passing in front of a fire behind them, and begin to ascribe forms to these shadows. According to Plato, the shadows are as close as the prisoners get to seeing reality. He then explains how the philosopher is like a prisoner who is freed from the cave and comes to understand that the shadows on the wall are not constitutive of reality at all, as he can perceive the true form of reality rather than the mere shadows seen by the prisoners.

More: Lectures on Modern European Intellectual History


An excerpt from Plato’s Republic, the ‘Allegory of the Cave’ is a classic commentary on the human condition. It is a story of open-mindedness and the power of possibility.

Bullhead Entertainment has adapted and brought it to life by shooting thousands of high-resolution photographs of John Grigsby’s stop motion animation. For more information, visit Allegory Of The Cave - Home

See also: Simon Blackburn (Cambridge University) talks with Nigel Warburton and David Edmonds about what Plato really wants to say here (audio)