Author Topic: Anyone familiar with the "Allegory of the Cave"?  (Read 141 times)

Cali Climate

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Anyone familiar with the "Allegory of the Cave"?
« on: April 25, 2009, 09:10:14 PM »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegory_of_the_cave


Education is, or the generally accepted view of it, nothing but the forcing of thoughts into the minds of children.

Education being the daily entropy incurred through school, church, television, music, friends, family.

we all have these shadows dancing on the wall, as we are all intellectual prisoners to some sort of train of thought, telling us what we believe to be true about something. Few things in this world are certain, but we fight tooth and nail to actualize every little thing that feels correct to us.





The Divided Line (The Republic  , Book VI)

Socrates
   You have to imagine, then, that there are two ruling powers, and that one of them is set over the intellectual world, the other over the visible. I do not say heaven, lest you should fancy that I am playing upon the name. May I suppose that you have this distinction of the visible and intelligible fixed in your mind?


Glaucon
   I have.

Socrates
   Now take a line which has been cut into two unequal parts and divide each of them again in the same proportion, and suppose the two main divisions to answer, one to the visible and the other to the intelligible, and then compare the subdivisions in respect of their clearness and want of clearness, and you will find that the first section in the sphere of the visible consists of images. And by images I mean, in the first place, shadows, and in the second place, reflections in water and in solid, smooth and polished bodies and the like: Do you understand?


Glaucon
   Yes, I understand.

Socrates
   Imagine, now, the other section, of which this is only the resemblance, to include the animals which we see, and everything that grows or is made.


Glaucon
   Very good.

Socrates
   Would you not admit that both the sections of this division have different degrees of truth, and that the copy is to the original as the sphere of opinion is to the sphere of knowledge?


Glaucon
   Most undoubtedly.

Socrates
   Next proceed to consider the manner in which the sphere of the intellectual is to be divided.


Glaucon
   In what manner?

Socrates
   Thus: There are two subdivisions, in the lower of which the soul uses the figures given by the former division as images; the inquiry can only be hypothetical, and instead of going upwards to a principle descends to the other end; in the higher of the two, the soul passes out of hypotheses, and goes up to a principle which is above hypotheses, making no use of images as in the former case, but proceeding only in and through the ideas themselves.


Glaucon
   I do not quite understand your meaning.

Socrates
   Then I will try again; you will understand me better when I have made some preliminary remarks. You are aware students of geometry, arithmetic, and the kindred sciences assume the odd and the even and teh figures and three kinds of angles and the like in their several branches of science; these are their hypotheses, which they and everybody are supposed to know, and therefore they do not deign to give any account of them either to themselves or others; but they begin with them, and go on until they arrive at last, and in a consistent manner, at their conclusions?


Glaucon
   Yes, I know.

Socrates
   And do you not know also that although they make use of the visible forms and reason about them, they are thinking not of these, but of the ideas which they resemble; not of the figures which they draw, but of the absolute square and the absolute diameter, and so on, the forms which they draw or make, and which have shadows and reflections in water of their own, are converted by them into images, but they are really seeking to behold the things themselves, which can only be seen with the eye of the mind?


Glaucon
   That is true.

Socrates
   And of this kind I spoke as the intelligible, although in the search after it the soul is compelled to use hypotheses; not ascending to a first principle, because she is unable to rise above the region of hypothesis, but employing the objects of which the shadows below are resemblances in their turn as images, they having in relation to the shadows and reflections of them a greater distinctness, and therefore a higher value.

Glaucon
   I understand that you are speaking of the province of geometry and the sister arts.

Socrates
   And when I speak of the other division of the intelligible, you will understand me to speak of that other sort of knowledge which reason herself attains by the power of dialectic, using the hypotheses not as first principles, but openly as hypotheses, that is to say, as steps and points of departure into a world which is above hypotheses, in order that one may soar beyond them to the first principle of the whole; and clinging to this and then to that which depends on this, by successive steps she descends again without the aid of any sensible object, from ideas through ideas and in ideas one ends. . . .

   And now, corresponding to these four divisions, let there be four faculties in the soul, intelligence answering to the highest, reason to the second, belief (or conviction) to the third, and perception of shadows or illusion to the last, and let there be a scale of them, and let us suppose that the several faculties have clearness in the same degree that their objects have truth.


Glaucon
   I understand and give my assent, and accept your argument.


 

RETURN OF THE OVERFIEND!

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Re: Anyone familiar with the "Allegory of the Cave"?
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2009, 10:25:52 PM »
Yep 'they' made me read that. The best learning is done outside of institutionalised education. Education is no substitute for living life.


We are all in the dark some way,


"Do not be arrogant because of your knowledge; confer then with the ignorant man as with the learned man.
The limit of art has not been reached, and no artisan has mastered his craft."



-Ptahhotep, 6th Dynasty of the Old Kingdom.


 

jeromechickenbone

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Re: Anyone familiar with the "Allegory of the Cave"?
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2009, 11:54:06 AM »
I haven't heard of this, but it's very good stuff.  I'm gonna have to read the Socrates lesson a couple more times to grasp it all...too much booze last night.

That cave pic is awesome.
 

K.Dub

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Re: Anyone familiar with the "Allegory of the Cave"?
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2009, 11:57:43 AM »
Yeah, I found that stuff kinda interesting.
Must've been a shock for that dude who got out.

kemizt