There is no doubt that Plato’s allegory of the cave is one of the great theories regarding human perception. Plato explains that Normal human beings are the prisoners of their senses and recommends that only philosophical reasoning will set them free. He adds that unlike an everyday person, Philosophers tend to view reality and the world differently. When exploring Plato’s allegory, it is evident that the prisoner who escapes out of the cave symbolizes the philosopher. And the cave, in this case, refers to the human conditions which dictate what human senses perceive and in most cases people can never cruise past these conditions. Therefore, human beings tend to be the prisoners of these conditions. Although Plato’s theory is centuries old, it is still relevant and relatable in the 21st century. From Dark matter to Neuroscience, there are some specific fields in the human existence which will always be difficult to comprehend fully.
In this allegory, Plato explains that priori knowledge can only be obtained via philosophical reasoning. He criticizes posteriori knowledge arguing that it is just made up of opinions. So was Plato an Empiricists or Rationalists? Well, without insulting our intellectual capacity it is apparent that Plato supported rationalism. Just like Aristotle and Immanuel Kant, Plato believed that people can gain knowledge without the sense experience. He believed that priori knowledge is the real truth. This allegory is very significant because it answers two critical questions in philosophy- What is the primary purpose of philosophy? And why are most Philosophers usually unsuccessful? Furthermore, it raises various issues about philosophy and recommends on the best possible ways in which the philosophers can deal with them.
Allegory of the cave is essential because it allows people to understand that there are two types of worlds- the world of ideologies (the outside world) and the world of forms (that is the cave). It explains that human beings can only access the world of ideologies through thinking and philosophy. This means that priori knowledge can only be obtained through thought and philosophy. From this allegory, it is apparent that the people who reside in the world of forms are non-philosophers while the individuals who live in a world of ideologies are the philosophers. Plato argues that as long as the human beings are still using the empirical evidence or perhaps the things which they touch, taste, or see to gain knowledge, it will be tough for them to regard abstract ideologies such as love and justice. Therefore, he advises people to break out of the bonds and the captivity of their senses so that they can achieve supreme enlightenment. . For centuries now many people have developed a skeptical attitude towards both philosophy and the philosophers. In fact, in most cases, empiricists have been on record arguing that the philosophers are misguiding people. However, this allegory quashes those claims and sets the record straight that philosophers are the only people who seek to find the real truth. In general, it is safe to explain that one of the critical advantages of this allegory is that it enlightens and assists the ordinary individuals to shift to the world of ideologies. Moreover, it describes the mandate of the philosophers in the world and teaches the ordinary people about the significance of philosophical thinking