PLATO ON: The Allegory of the Cave


The ancient Greeks were emphatic that philosophy was not just an elaborate abstract exercise. It was, they felt, a deeply useful skill that should be learned and practiced by all, in order to help us to live and die well. No one believed this more than Plato. Who was passionate in his defense of philosophy as a kind of therapy for the soul. One of the most forceful stories he told on behalf of the utility of philosophy Was what has become known as “The Allegory of the Cave”. It is perhaps the most famous allegory in philosophy. This was a story that was intended, as he wrote, to compare “[t]he effect of education and the lack of it on our nature.” At the start of Book 7 of his masterpiece, “The Republic”, Plato tells us about some people living imprisoned in a cave They’ve always lived there and don’t know anything of the outside world. There is no natural light in this cave, the walls are damp and dark All the inhabitants can see comes from the shadows of things thrown up on the wall by a light of a fire The cave dwellers get fascinated by these reflections of animals, plants and people Moreover, they assume that these shadows are real and that if you pay a lot of attention to them you’ll understand and succeed in life And they don’t, of course, realize that they are looking at mere phantoms They chat about shadowy things enthusiastically and take great pride in their sophistication and wisdom Then one day, quite by chance, someone discovers a way out of the cave out into the open air At first, it’s simply overwhelming. He is dazzled by the brilliant sunshine In which everything is, for the first time, properly illuminated Gradually his eyes adjust and he encounters the true forms of all those things which he had formerly know only as shadows He sees actual flowers, the colors of birds, the nuances in the bark of trees He observes stars and grasps the vastness and sublime nature of the universe As Plato puts it in solemn terms: Out of compassion, this newly enlightened man decides to leave the sunlit upper world and makes his way back into the cave to try to help out his companions who are still mired in confusion and error Because he’s become used to the bright upper world, he can hardly see anything underground He stumbles along the damp wet corridors and gets confused He seems to the others totally unimpressive When he in turn is unimpressed by them and insists on explaining what the sun is or what a real tree is like The cave dwellers get sarcastic, then very angry and eventually plot to kill him The story of the cave is an allegory of the life of all enlightened people The cave dwellers are humans before philosophy The sun is the light of reason The alienation of the returned philosopher is what all truth tellers can expect when they take their knowledge back to people who have not devoted themselves to thinking For Plato, we are all for much of our lives in shadow Many of the things we get excited about, like fame, the perfect partner, a high status job are infinetly less real than we suppose they are for the most part phantoms projected by our culture onto the walls of our fragile and flawed minds but because everyone around us is insisting that they are genuine we are taken in from a young age It’s not our fault individually No one chooses to be in the cave That’s just where we happen to begin We’re all starting from a very difficult place If, like the man in Plato’s story, you bluntly tell people they’re wrong You get nowhere, you cause deep offense and may endanger your own life Athens had, after all, recently put Socrates, Plato’s friend, to death Plato knew from close experience just what the cave dwellers might do to those who claim to know the sun The solution, Plato says, is a process of widespread carefully administered philosophical education By which he understood the method of inquiry pioneered by Socrates and known to us as the “Socratic Method” It’s a very gentle process. You don’t lecture or harang or force someone to read a particular book You just start with a general declaration of intellectual modesty no one knows very much It’s always good to insist: “wisdom starts with owning up to ignorance” Confess that you don’t know exactly what the government should do, what wars meant to achieve or how good relationships work You then get the other person to say what they think and gradually together you investigate the answers Most likely the other person will be confident or rather painfully overconfident They may tell you it’s all quite simple really and everyone knows the answer already You must be supremely patient with this kind of bravado If they go off topic, you must cheerfully double back You must take a lot of time and be ready to have chats over many days This method of talking is founded on a lovely confidence that with the right encouragement people can eventually work out things for themselves and detect errors in their own reasoning If you carefully and quietly draw their attention to tricky points and don’t cast blame or ever get annoyed You’ll never teach anyone anything by making them feel stupid Even if they are, at first We have all started in that cave but it is Plato’s deepest insight that we don’t have to stay there And the road out is called, quite simply, philosophy This is the sun whose light we can follow and by whose rays the proper nature of things can become clear If you enjoyed the films on this channel, you might want to hear about another smart insightful channel we love called Wisecrack Click here to visit their channel page and discover a succession of videos on world literature, philosophy, cinema, history and more All delivered with a playful beguiling sense of humor They’re in L.A., we’re here in London, but the School of Life and Wisecrack have become firm friends Based around shared values about making education compelling We’d love you to befriend us both in turn.

Comments 100

  • "…Plato knew, from close experience, just what the cave dwellers might do to those who claim to know the Sun.."

  • "There is no teacher ho can teach anything new, he can just help us to remember, the things, we always knew" wow! now the Enigma make sense to me! thanks a lot!

  • If we become enlightened and lead with compassion when trying to eradicate one's ignorance through education how are we going to protect ourselves from their resistance? The resistance can be violent and harmful to those who want to do nothing more than teach so we can all leave the cave behind.

  • That's why every philosophy after Plato is just a footnote to his philosophy

  • That is why socrates said he want to become a hosefly which makes horse which is Athenai whip itself.

  • This is what Karl Marx called living in false consciousness of materialism and capitalism.

  • Rating: Explicit.

  • if only more people would know about this…And if only more people started actually studying philosophy, rather than pushing it aside and perceiving it as a torture device of jobless lunatics. Philosophy is fun, people! This channel right here should serve as an example.

  • Wonderful..thanks

  • I'm currently in a larger chambered cave… I've been making treks down to the most base cave there is, trying to show the other prisoners what being in a well lit environment looks like…

    To perceive things as they actually are, instead of confusion it for the shadows… So far, yepp, everyone is hostile towards it…

    The one true thing, here, though, is that everyone already DOES have the answer. We just need to teach people how to find the answer, and then how to correctly apply the answer.

    Depressing.

  • THE BODY IN IT’S SIMPLICITY.

    There's no such thing as cures for diseases as there's no such thing as disease.

    Disease is not a foreign entity, it is a bodily process.

    99.9 % of all illnesses is lifestyle related.

    Pain and pleasure is the bodies feedback loop back system that tells you if you are doing something right or wrong.

    Everything is Cause and Effect (root and symptom).

    Example:

    You are banging your head on the wall which results in developing a headache.
    In this case the banging your head on the wall is the cause/root and the headache felt is the effect/symptom.
    Now you wouldn't take a pill (treating the symptom) in the hopes to fix the problem (the cause).
    The logical thing to do would be to stop banging your head on the wall as that would fix the cause to the headache.

    First call of Action for treating any disease:

    "Find the cause and stop adding to it!!!" (Stop banging your head on the wall).

    Do not put the cart before the horse.

    Treating cancer is the same as treating the symptoms.
    Treating the symptoms is not treating the cause.
    Treating the symptoms is interfering with the bodies communicating system.

    "Treating the symptoms is something that the Allopathic community know all too well".
    "You cannot poison the body back to health".

    What you want to be aiming for is treating the cause/root.

    Everything is chemistry.

    The wrong foods will cause a problem and the right foods will fix it.

    The body is the healer and all you need to do is get out of its way unless you are really damaged, then it’s advised to support it.

    All diseases comes from the body not being able to eliminate its own waste matter.

    There are two sides to chemistry.
    One side is acidic and the other side is alkaline.
    One side is corrosive and the other is based.
    One side damages the cells and the other does not.
    Can you guess which is which?
    Cellular waste is Acidic.
    A cancer cell is a "highly Damaged Cell".
    Can you guess which sides of chemistry Meat, Dairy, Grains are in?

    Meat, Dairy, Grains, Processed, foods with Chemicals/Addictive are all acidic mucus forming foods that promotes the bodies cellular bathroom (the Great Lymphatic System) to become constipated. When this happens it is called Acidosis.

    If cells cannot push their waste out then the waste will find home in the cells. When this happens it is called Interstitial Cellular Constipation.

    And since you are made out of two fluids and trillions of cells with each cell consuming and producing waste it would only be a matter of time for your cells to become damaged and the symptoms of sickness to start appearing.

    If the body were to push out this waste purely through the skin you'll end up with skin issues, through the lungs you would end up with asthma and etc…

    The Two Fluids:
    One is your Blood and acts as the bodies Kitchen providing nourishment and hydration to all cells and the other is the Great Lymphatic System and acts as the bodies sewage system for cellular waste.

    The key to creating health is to get all your channels of elimination flowing.

    The Great Lymphatic System runs parallel to your blood system, from the tip of your toes to the tip of your head.
    The Great Lymphatic System is the bodies’ drainage System.
    The Great Lymphatic System is where your cells damp their toxic waste.

    Note: all illnesses come from having a congested Lymphatic System.

    Note: unfortunately one inherits the Lymph of their mother.

    Note: aren’t like the blood system, the Major Lymphatic System has no pump. So you need to promote its flow by moving the body.

    Note: if the Great Lymphatic System is congested it is advised to avoid excessive exercises as this would create more acid to be produced in a body that is already struggling to eliminate it.

    In this case, dry skin brushing, cold hot showers, saunas, yoga, deep breathing and message, anything that would stimulate its flow is recommended.

    The Cells dump their waste into the Lymphatic System where it travels to the Lymph nodes where it gets broken down and from there it continues through the Lymphatic System until it reaches the kidneys where it will get filtered out of the body.

    Kidney filtration.

    The kidney filters out Lymphatic waste through the urine.

    The right kidney will filter out the right side of the body and the left kidney will filter out the left side of the body.
    However most people kidneys are weak and damaged and are no longer filtering.

    A good way to know if your kidneys are filtering is by urinating into a clear jar and check to see for sediment.
    If there's sediment in your urine, then your kidneys are filtering.
    If there's no sediment in your urine (regardless of colour), then you are not filtering.

    Cleaning the body (detox).

    As a soldier would clean his rifle after firing or whenever it gets dirty to prevent future faults and stoppages, the same applies to the human body.

    Detoxing the body at the Cellular level is key.

    How to Detox.

    Fruits not only provide nourishment and hydration to the cells but also acts as the bodies cleanser… Acid fruits are the most stringent. Grapes mixed with lemon are a powerful combination…

    Note: Acid fruits carbon ash print (once digested) is Alkaline.

    Herbs help to strengthen weak or damages organs/glands and are handy for repairing DNA and for strengthening and giving the organs of elimination a boost.

    Vegetables will slow down the detox process.

    Cooked vegetables will slow down the detox process even more.

    Nuts and seeds will stop the detox process.

    All other foods will have a reverse effect to the detox process.

    4 Most effective ways to Detox the Body.

    1. The most effective way to detox the body also happens to be the simplest way. Dry fasting (no eating and no drinking) is the most effective way however it's not something that you can do continuously.
    Note: you could incorporate dry fasting maybe one day a week and build up to two days a week.
    Note: dry fasting promotes kidney filtration.

    2. The second most effective way is: A water fast or fresh juice fast.
    Back in the day it would be recommend to do a water fast, however things have changed since then. Our bodies are more damaged and the environment is more toxic, so therefore a Fresh Juice Fast is recommended out of the two.

    Note: Chew your liquids and Drink your Solids (mix you’re Saliva).

    Note: A fresh juice fast (black Grapes with lemon is a powerful combination) will provide the cells with all the nourishment they need without wasting energy on digestion, which means more focus and energy for healing.

    Fasting Note: any fool can start a fast but it takes a wise man to break a fast.
    There are ways one should break a fast.

    Breakfast means break-fast as you naturally fast as you sleep. Learn how to break a fast correctly.
    Not breaking a long Fast correctly can be dangerous.

    3. The third most effective way is: A mono fruit diet. Pick one type of fruit and stick to it.

    4. The last effective way is: an all fruit diet.

    Note: fruits will expose your weaknesses.

    Note: all fruits must be ripe!!!!
    Consuming unripe fruit will add to the problem.
    Bananas are the only fruit that ripens after picked.
    The rest just ferments and rots.
    Pineapple and kiwis are notorious for being picked unripe.

    Note: acid fruits are the most stringent (effective).
    Sub acid fruits are the second most stringent.
    Sweet fruits such as bananas are not good for detoxing.

    Melons are great.

    Note: do not mix your sweet fruits with you acidic fruits.
    Do not mix melons with any other fruits as melons digest quicker than any other fruit.

    Cleansing Effect.

    It is only natural when detoxing to feel worse before you start to feel better.

    As you detox your body will have to work through filtering fresh toxins (cellular waste) as well as a back load of old toxins.
    This can be a burden on your organs of elimination as they were already weak and were already struggling. This is where the herbs play their role.

    Note: there's an art to detoxification and you are the artist as only you can feel your body.

    Note: You will feel toxins trying to escape the body in all different ways and this might make you look and feel worse than before.
    This is only natural, and you could either push through it or slow it down.

    Bowel Movements.

    It is important to get a bowel movement each day.
    A healthy person would get in average 3 bowel movements a day.

    Note: if struggling to get a bowel moment consider doing a colonic or a enema.

    Note: enema kits are cheap to buy and simple to conduct.

    In summary:

    Get your Lymph flowing, your Kidneys filtering, repair your glands, clean out your GI track, hydrate your cells and you'll be in for a treat.
    Remember listen to your body and not your addictions.

    Extra notes:

    You cannot attain true knowledge if you have false knowledge in its place.

    3 stages of knowledge
    -Acquired
    -Apply
    -Manifest

    Do not fully trust anything that seeks to take away your own responsibility.

    Coping with Stress.

    If it comes, let it
    If it goes, let it
    And you’ll find peace.

  • The process of teaching described in this video is the ideal of every parent. Gently pushing along until the learner can do it independently. So easily said and so difficult to achieve. Plato saw himself as parenting society, in a way.

  • https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLsO9HilQnhJxNDPBHLhlvX8uYqMZ1WmZj

  • Where is that picture of the tree at 2:43 from? It's on a Yo La Tengo album cover.

  • Lo importante es que en la caverna haya Wi-Fi

  • Would any of you choose to leave this cave though if it meant leaving all your loved ones behind? Would you go back in to enjoy life with them, or waste your youth trying to get them out without knowing you’ll ever even get them out? (Hypothetical, bc like many others here idek what it would mean to be truly out of the cave and see for myself what truth is, since it just feels like even my own thinking process is a pattern of what people have told and showed me my whole life lol)

  • So really Plato was telling ppl to “stay woke”? Lol

  • You have got to believe you are out when given a map…

  • Think of what happens after an apocalypse. When only 20% of the world's population is left. It's interesting how Plato's "Allegory of the Cave" cripples this idea with irony. If 'what matters' now—such as loved ones, connections, and materialistic goods—are considered to be projections of reality, then nothing truly ever mattered. Assuming we are the cave-people who form communities out of the shadows, everything we have known to date would be of false importance. Do we need a reason to live or is there something better? Plato's "Allegory of the Cave" answers the existential crisis of all humans by stating there is more than meets the eye, but we will never know when we have the right answer to "what matters", even after an apocalypse.

  • 171 cavepeople watched this

  • The editing has improved a LOT in three years.

  • "You never teach anyone anything by making them feel stupid" … great advice

  • Just by chance this video was paused on the public apartment desktop as I turned on the monitor. It was only about 1 minute in. I finished the video, then logged into my YouTube account, added it to 2 of my playlists, and am re-watching the entire video right now.

  • Wake Up!!!
    .
    stop watching MSM.

  • THANKS BRO

  • Def a grower, not a shower.

  • Socrates had some saggy ass balls.

  • Democrats sure are still in a cave

  • It's a joke about Cavemen. Cavemen know more about the entire cosmos observing the socket puppet flickering of shadows by immature women behind them than they do up on the surface physically seeing everything. Tartarus is the Mancave for Chronos! He's laughing riotously!

  • Feminine Defecation is a Poopspiracy symbolized by the Allegory of the Cave!

  • All this assumes the other person is willing to listen, think or debate honestly.

  • 5:20 so true

  • I think Plato was the first to invent clickbait here cuz this logic makes humans seem shallow & dim witted, like when all you had was shadows there was respect for shadows and now you found a new kind of shadow and now you're a total jerk about it?
    exaggerated story, makes you wanna fill in the blanks.

  • this shit crazy

  • I'll never understand this, honestly hate greek philosophy

  • When you step out of darkness and witness the beauty presented in the light, that is when you sound out with joy "This is one fine day to be nude!"

  • Thank you.

  • Well that was interesting! Just begun with studying about Plato and that was made me more curious to know more about his philosophy. This video was was fantastic. I'm still in my cave, wanting to come out 🙂

  • Be very aware of, what the cave dwellers might do to the ones who claim to know the sun…

  • I have class in 6 and half minutes…This just came in real clutch, thank you for the quality content!

  • Just gently place the noose around one's neck and apologize to the chair for kicking it out from under your feet. This is the story of most philosophers.

  • The only problem is, who is the right philosopher? He has views, but are the correct? I argue, presently, that Liberalism is wrong, and Conservatism is right. The Liberals are the ones in the cave, who is right?

  • 2:00

    “Hey umm… can I get a big mac. No pickles with uhh fanta.. no make it a diet coke.”

  • This is the story of Jesus in many ways. He went around healing and revealing truths.

    He existed outside of creation, he came in and told us who he was and what was real. He exposed our limited vision of the shadows of creation which are shadows of a more permanent reality.

    Just like the cave dwellers, the people hung him on a cross and beat him instead of accepting his salvation. We rejected his release from the chains of this world and the our fleshly delusions.

    1 Corinthians 13:12
    For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then (after death if you accept christ) shall I know even as also I am known

    Luke 1:79
    (Speaking of Jesus) He came:
    To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace

    John 1
    3 All things were made by him (Jesus); and without him was not any thing made that was made.
    4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
    5 And the light (Jesus is the light) shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

    John 3:19

    And this is the condemnation, that light (named Jesus) is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil

    Even so, I'm sure I will be attacked for posting these truths of Gods love for you. I will be attacked bc Plato was right. These verses reveal your shadows that you chase. The shadows that you want to be your reality, when they are not the real story.

    You are the guys left in the cave if you reject Gods son and our Lord Jesus, who suffered to reveal the big picture to you.

  • Was planning to share this with my 12 year old daughter…until naked guy comes out of the cave 🤦🏻‍♂️

  • Some may say the story of Jesus is like this ALLEGORY. The man we know as Jesus(Yeshuah) managed to make it out of the cave and eventually paid for his teachings with his life.

  • America and our PERVERSE CULTURES, HISTORICAL lies, meaningless ENTERTAINMENT, and various Religions is my cave. What's YOURS my friend?

  • Globe earther turning into a flat earther

  • Ok fine now let's see it in Sanskrit

  • My state of mind is like i know the deep meaning but i dunno. Can anyone help me lol

  • thank you so much, I have a philosophy exam tomorrow and this helped me so muuccchhh, thank yoouuuu

  • Plato invented dialectics wow

  • Plato: Genius.

  • Oh my God school of life and Wiscrack teaming up? this is just a match made in Intellectual heaven lol

  • is this needed today or what? as it was yesterday, as it will be tomorrow…and so on

  • I love it! Thank you School of Life

  • After watching this video and thinking about Plato's Allegory of the Cave, I became very inspired to write a song about it… https://youtu.be/JOsH5h9kNRk

  • 05.19 even if they are stupid at first 😂😂

  • Why was plato skeptical of the arts? He used this metaphor of a mirror constantly rotating to demonstrate where the arts are in his metaphysics. An imitation of reality (and a reflection of it), not reality itself. In the character of Ion we see a young man inspired. He is inspired and inspirational, but he is not inspiration itself. He is vain and delusional instead of wise. What is Plato saying?

  • Great video. Enjoyed it very much.
    Thank you.

  • I have never felt more "out of the cave" then when i read the comments on this video because the people here retarded as fuck.

  • I have never felt more "out of the cave" then when i read the comments on this video because the people here retarded as fuck.

  • I am quite out but I slipped down back at dark pushed by other idiots

  • If they didn't jump to conclusions and kept an open mind they would've been better off. It's really sad that this is our reality. Imagine all the bright minds that didn't get any recognition, i bet there's some that didn't leave any traces behind.

  • Wisdom starts with owning up to ignorance. Powerful words.

  • Let's go HE1 12-1 😂😂

  • American education is not wisdom, most of all is still in the cave

  • Is it right if I connect Guy Debord's The society of the spectacle and this allegory

  • And people still believe that Plato's intention was to prove the ambiguity of a posteriori knowledge.

  • I would prefer to tell people what I believe to be the Truth than what they are comfortable with.

  • If there is something beyond the cave, how will we ever find it?

  • This video has given me a type of peace that is, kind of unexplainable.

  • So my teacher gave me this story as a script and it was so hard to understand then I watched this and other vids about it and now I understand

  • This is how i feel when i talk about a conspiracy theory im into with mates – leave out the validity of it, someone is quick to reject and ridicule, but they accept it if it comes from BBC or some shid

  • Thank you for Turkish translate.

  • Why is their a naked man? I wanted show my students this excellent video, but now I can't. 🙁

  • “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
    – Joseph Goebbels

  • "You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself."
    – Galileo Galilei

  • shout out sa mga students ni sir Borda nga diri nangadto aron makasabot

  • Just found you 😊 👍 and going to stay THANK YOU ! For (1) content (2) Excellent presenter clear and informative in the time 6.17 (3)⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐🇬🇧

  • The idea of being born again is even understood by those that don't know Jesus Christ

  • We comminicate with others….yeah right…nice try with those stupid iphones….No one is listening anymore…So plato…how you solve that problem??

  • All the details are missing here

  • Yet, our educational system all over the world, insists on us being mere instrument for established dogma disguised on satisfaction.

  • SPEAKERS CORNER, LONDON, HYDE PARK

  • One of the only thing I remember from Philosophy classes in High school.

  • We exited the cave and must return to the cave so the power does not corrupt us

  • This allegory is the basis for many of your favorite movies like the Matrix, inception, the story of jesus, etc. The truth will drive you crazy in the eyes of others.

  • Well…. you don't make it out of the cave randomly or by chance. A key part of the allegory is that you are freed by someone already freed. The prisoners are there since birth so they are unaware they are prisoners.

    I think a lot of people miss the point of Plato's Allegory. It is about education. Education is knowledge of things that are true and universal. This knowledge does not change, but it is our world, the world of the cave that changes.

    No one is ever free of the cave… if you get out of the cave, you must go back in to enlighten those who are still stuck in there. When you are outside, you are not truth itself, but beholding it. This is a key point. Without the truth, there is only darkness… only the cave.

    So many people assume the point of the allegory is some "all or none" result. Until you have truth itself, you are beholden to the cave. But, you can get out to view truth, to see things as they are illuminated by truth. The point of having philosopher-kings, is that they will not be content with the corruption of the cave and petty opinions… philosopher-kings will be enlightened by truth and seek to serve others, to help them leave. But they will resist… they will deny truth, just like people have "opinions" (in other words shadows) of the allegory itself.

  • δεν μπορείτε να πείτε στους θνητούς την αλήθεια καταστρέφει τις πεποιθήσεις τους και δεν μπορούν να κατανοήσουν την αλήθεια People live lives in lies, for the world is full of lies. Until the Truth returns Εκείνοι που πιστεύουν στον Κύριό μας γνωρίζουν σε ποιους μιλάμε

  • The prisoners in the cave are called Democrats!!

  • Flat Earther and those who know better should take note.

  • It's called being woke son.

  • Its like, suddenly, I am feeling all cheered up! 😂😄.

  • I am The Way, The Truth, & The Life; no one cometh unto the Father but through Me.

  • and here we are in 2019 still chained to a wall in a cave… fully believing the shadows are reality.. allowing evil to manifest it's own reality right under our noses.

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