November 13, 2013
The parable of the cave is a story where men are held prisoner is a cave. These men could not move because they were chained underground and all they could see are shadow of things from the fire that was burning. These men only saw shadows of things because of the fire and walkway. The light was projecting objects and these men would guess what each was. These men were never outside in their entire lives. They were trapped in a cave where darkness ruled and very little light was shown. There only contact with mankind was echoes they heard from people passing by. What kind of life is this for these men? They had no understanding of life outside the cave. Plato later asks the question of one of these men being freed and getting a chance to see real light. How would this man react? How would he adjust to the light? This man finally was able to see the real images of life. After taking all of this in the man finally got to see the real light, the sun. Now his eyes are opened for the first time in his life. Then the man comes back to the cave. He has to readjust his eyesight to the darkness.
Plato's divided line theory talks about the distinction between the different levels of knowledge and reality it wants us to imagine a vertical line. The left half is dedicated to metaphysics and the right half is dedicated to epistemology. Now imagine a horizontal line running through the middle of the vertical line to form quadrants. The upper left quadrant represents the intelligible world of being which is invisible, eternal, unchanging, and etc. The lower left quadrant represents the visible world of becoming, which is visible, temporal, changing, and more. The upper right quadrant represents knowledge. The lower right quadrant represents opinion. Next we imagine segments on the vertical line from lowest to highest. On the left side the segments are degrees of reality and on the right side the segments are degrees of certainty...