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Fig 3.14 – Allegory of the Cave

Text: Page 106

The Allegory of the Cave provides a dramatic example of the Platonic philosophy of Forms because Plato believed humanity was chained to their physical body, the senses, like prisoners in an unenlightened cave where the prisoners mistakenly believed the shadows from the cave fire were the real world. Plato imagined when the prisoners escaped, they would feel emancipated by “the sunlight of reason” and understand the deception of the senses. Upon returning to the cave to report what had been seen, the eyes of the freed prisoners, initially blinded by the sunlight of the real world, made the prisoners in the cave assume a harmful journey. Plato was not convinced that humanity would ever be able to handle the true realities of the outer world because the discovery would be too much, most would retreat safely back to unenlightened prisoners and, if able, the prisoners who remained in the cave might try to kill anyone who attempted their emancipation.

In this reimagined version of Plato’s Cave, explore the modern world as a digital cave, where shadows from the internet and technology often masquerade as truth.

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