Plato’s Allegory of the Cave


Plato a 300 B.C thinker and philosopher presents an analogy for understanding knowledge and enlightenment in society. In his myth of the cave, he argues that under critical analysis, human enlightenment presents a state of passive knowledge accustomed to society. Knowledge in his school of thought should be well informed and governed by the ultimate aim of doing good. The ideas postulated by Plato indicate that individuals should strive towards gaining true knowledge, contrary to what the training institutions provide for society. He argues that reality is based on manipulations that impact on the knowledge we believe to be true. It is therefore essential to leave the cave and deliberately search for truth according to Plato in order to achieve greater enlightenment gain true knowledge. Basing on this school of thought I believe that his ideas on human enlightenment are valid in understanding the discourse of journalism. The paper evaluates the important role of leaving the cave in the quest for knowledge. Further, it presents facts that justify why objective critical inquiry is essential for the empowerment of both individuals and society. Moreover, it also analyses the challenges presented by trainings in knowledge acquisition process.

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I agree with the notion that it is essential to leave the cave since our reality is dynamic and relies on perspectives and available information. Manipulations of reality is self-evident throughout the world and concerted effort to seek out true evidence is important.  True knowledge can only be developed through reason and a desire to do what is good as Plato asserts. Further, the bewilderment of our vision comes from coming out of the light or going into the light. This implies that what we understand to be true is guided by the analysis of our sources of knowledge. Knowledge that we gain is influenced by our perspectives and what we can observe. It is worth noting that synthesis of available information is crucial for our development of truth. Passive knowledge has provided by training institutions limits our thinking and our search for truth.

Leaving the cave is important because truth can only be gained through going beyond the manipulations of reality. Reality is distorted in Plato’s view and only through reason can we objectively attain true knowledge. We can certainly know the true meaning of knowledge through observing what is good and acceptable in society. Good defines the what we readily accept is a reality and believe as acting morally. People are usually guided by what they see. Moving out of the cave to the intellectual of the soul as Plato assert imparts reason and gaining true knowledge. Further, it provides people with the ability to make better decisions on what to believe from a point of contrast and comparison of perspectives

Rigorous and critical inquiry in the quest for knowledge build and more intellectual person as it builds confidence is what they believe to be true. leaving the cave is essential for the edification of people’s perception of true knowledge and the good. Moving out of the cave presents various perspectives of reality. The manipulated versions of reality can be determined, verified and validated through the process of reasoning. Reason and truth is aimed at achieving good which is the author of all desirable things universally. Good, determines ethics and morality of action of individuals. This implies that the search for knowledge is guided by what is good and desirable in society. Therefore, society can only be enlightened and empowered as a whole through acquisition of true knowledge. Plato’s ideas support the fact that society is socialized to believe what they can see or hear on the media. This is a form of contemporary cave which individuals find themselves in.

It is imperative that society should think differently and acquire knowledge independently or verify what they receive in the media. As a result, better evaluation of what is true will be undertaken and society’s enlightenment realized. Further, the more people access factual information; the task of empowering others is expedited. Plato observes that the released prisoner experiences resistance on going back to the cave. A change in perspective of what is real is not readily accepted by the other prisoners. They hold dearly to their conventional beliefs despite the limited scope of knowledge and perspective. Knowledge enhances reasoning and determination of truth or “ascent of the soul to the intellectual” as Plato postulates.

Training enhances people’s ability to acquire knowledge but in the process offers passive enlightenment. Plato highlights the significance of systematic inquiry and analysis of information in search for good. However, the knowledge acquired should be holistic and involve moving out of the comfort zone in the quest for truth Therefore, it is essential to have training but that should not confine individuals thinking. Furthermore, the training acquired should inspire creativity and edification. The passive nature of training knowledge, is a major hindrance to the determination of truth from the manipulated reality. Reality is readily incorporated as knowledge through the systematic logic of training. As a result, true meanings are not derived from the distorted reality perspectives.

Plato validates this idea by arguing that only if we move out of the cave into the intellect of the soul can have true knowledge. Reason analyses various perspectives to come up with logical conclusions that resonate with good which is the author of all desirable things according to Plato. The confines of the cave allude to an ignorant and gullible society that believes everything presented by the media. The same applies to journalist who reports information based on face value. Plato argues that it is important to be guided by truth. This truth informs going beyond the obviously available information and searching for the root cause of the problem. This process is essential for developing an enlightened populace with truth and reason as the logic of acquired knowledge.

Manipulation of reality is challenges the understanding of true Meaning and hence distorted knowledge. Therefore, it is imperative to analyze perspective and discern reality from abstract logic. In his book The Republic, Plato validates his ideas of the enlightenment of society through the concept of the noble lie. He argues the fact that rigorous inquiry in the search for true knowledge is an important aspect of information gathering. A noble lie is a lie told in order to foster peace in society. It may be based on a fallacy and readily accepted by a gullible population. This form public deception can only be unraveled through a rigorous inquiry. Further, advent of “telepresence” or colloquially “virtual reality” has really distorted reality in the contemporary society. This calls for more elaborate measures to demystify the appearance from the reality in perception. As an outcome the society will be more enlightened and the individuals will have a better degree of confidence in what the present. Information will be more reliable and be acted upon in the taking of corrective or prescriptive action.

In conclusion, it is important to leave the cave in the quest for true knowledge. In leaving the cave we gain more information which broadens our perspective in the quest for truth and the good. Training can be limiting in the process for searching for truth since it confines our reasoning to specific aspects of logic. Therefore, seeking enlightenment should be guided by the desire to attain what is good and desirable in society. A deliberate critical inquiry and search for true meaning is pivotal for an enlightened individuals and society. Information acquired through this processes empowers people to develop a better understanding of what they believe about reality. With regards to journalism, this is significant in ensuring accurate and effective reporting. As a result, going beyond the obvious is remains a feasible approach to the quest for truth and ultimate good.