Essay by moaxcymUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, May 2008

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Plato was undoubtedly one of the most important philosophers of antiquity. He was an Athenian aristocrat and an ardent disciple of Socrates. His thoughts indeed help lay down the foundations of the western thought.

Plato's most celebrated work 'The republic' doesn't only discuss the complexities of an ideal society and its relationship with an individual, but also treads metaphysical paths.

All western religions invariably have something common with Platonist spirituality. He was among the first thinkers to perceive reality beyond material parameters. In, the allegory of the cave men, he gives an idea of a world beyond the visible world. He finds most people oblivious of that perfect world because they are enslaved to their physical reality (matter). They only believe true, what their senses reflect and are hence unable to grasp reality in its totality. They are conditioned to believe half-truths. When one of the cave people discovers the truth and comes back to warn his brethrens of their ignorance, he is ridiculed.

It is important to note that the protagonist of almost all his stories (The enlightened cave man, in this case) is Socrates, which shows Plato's reverence towards his teacher and also reinforces a saintly image of Socrates.

By concluding the allusion in this manner, Plato clearly suggests that most people are incapable of discrediting their own sense of reality, which is ruled by their senses, which are only able to translate the material.

Such an implication would always be thought rather fantastic. Explaining the world in terms of its material reality would always be easier because evidence is readily available to prove/disprove material notions. I believe that Plato's allusion is subject to spiritual experience which interestingly places him to similar position as the enlightened cave man in the allusion.

Furthermore Plato presents his...