Allegory of the Cave and Socrates Essay

1. ) “The Allegory of the Cave” – We often hear of various movements that are set out to try to protect our freedoms. We spend most of lives trying to defend our rights and keep ourselves liberated. However, how truly free are we? “The Allegory of the Cave” a story of prisoners in a cave , chained facing upward, by the legs and necks. They cannot move but their eyes are faced straight ahead at a wall. This wall is their world. They see the shadows of people, some carrying objects and others not. These shadows are all they know. Eventually, a prisoner is released and upon his release he finds himself in both physical and mental pain.

He is now able to move his muscles and put them into work, this includes his logos(mind). “The Allegory of the Cave”, is a metaphor of our world. The cave symbolizes our ignorance. If we do not experience something personally, the situation must not exist. The way we pinpoint situations are based on our three levels of thinking. The first level would be our imagination. We could see a shadow of an apple and if we would not what an apple was, we would picture it as a ball or something familiar. The next level would be our senses. Once we could touch, feel and see but yet still have no experience we would still be easy to manipulate and mold.

Our intellect is the third level. Our intellect is our ability to think, to face ideas and build our own opinions and views of the world around us. Our level is dependent on our upbringing, religion, culture, and environment. Along with experience, this is how we depict certain situations, however in no way does this mean our depictions are true. 2. ) “Euthyphro” – For every action we take we have a motive behind it. These motives may or may not be obvious to the outside eye and sometimes even to ourselves. In “Euthyphro” ( From Plato’s “Five Dialogues”) Socrates is brought to court and is publicly held at trial for corrupting the youth.

However the underlined reason is treason. Euthyphro, the judge and holy priest, brings before the jury not only Socrates, but his own father, charging him for murder. Socrates meets Euthyphro and begins to speak to Euthyphro on his motives for bringing his father to court. The fear of upsetting the Gds and piety was his response. But, what is piety? What does it mean to be religious? Euthyphro begins to explain. The first explanation was not a definition. It was mere examples. This would conclude to us that the “Holy” Priest in fact knows nothing. An example without a definition is nothing.

The second definition given to Socrates was that piety is whatever is dear to the Gds. As we know, the Greeks were polytheistic, which means they believed in many Gds, in this case piety cannot exist. The Gds would constantly dispute between each other so how would one know the right thing to do? Seeing as the third definition failed, Euthyphro offers a third definition that piety is everything that is loved by the Gds. Being as there are Gds that liked to rape, and there are cases in which Gds had killed each other. Does this mean that murderers and rapists are religious beings? This idea was then disclaimed.

We conclude from the conversation that piety does not exist. 3. ) ” The Apology”- Usually when an apology is issued to someone it is a request for permission. In Plato’s “The Apology”, Socrates is faced with three charges and is presented before a jury, facing four charges. Ironically Socrates doesn’t ask for forgiveness but spends his time defending himself. As mentioned Socrates is faced with four charges. The first charge he is faced with is corrupting the youth. He defends himself by looking around the jury and bringing attention to the fact that there no students or parents of students sitting before him.

His second charge is being impious. His defense is an explanation that nobody purposely tries to destroy their own city. Unless you would want to live amongst pedophiles, rapists, crooks and murderers, why would you teach someone to live a life like that. His third charge was that Socrates makes up his own Gds. He protected himself by reminding the jury that they all believe in mules, which means they must all believe in horses and donkeys. In that same perspective, if you believe in the sons of Gds you must obviously then believe in their parents.

His last case was him being a corrupt person. Socrates lived a just life. He was considered a model citizen. With that said, his case is ironic all together because a model citizen goes against corruption, not corrupt. 6. ) Heraclitus- Heraclitus presents us with the idea of change. Everything is constantly becoming different from itself and everything has an opposite. People all have different opinions and each has his own level of education. Nobody’s intelligence is greater than anyone else’s. Parmenides on the contrary feels that change does not exist. Everything just is.