Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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Plato and His Theory on Government Plato was a pupil under Socrates. During his studies, Plato wrote the Dialogues, which are a collection of Socrates' teachings. One of the parables included in the Dialogues is "The Allegory of the Cave". "The Allegory..." symbolizes man's struggle to reach understanding and enlightenment.

First of all, Plato believed that one could only learn through dialectic reasoning and open-mindedness. Humans had to travel from the visible realm of image making and objects of sense to the intelligible or invisible realm of reasoning and understanding. "The Allegory of the Cave" symbolizes this trek and how it would look to those still in a lower realm. Plato is saying that humans are all prisoners and that the real world is our cave. The things that we perceive as real are actually just shadows on a wall. Just as the escaped prisoner ascends into the light of the sun, we gain knowledge and come up into the light of true reality: ideas in the mind.

Yet, if someone goes into the light of the sun and beholds true reality and then proceeds to tell the other captives of the truth, they laugh at and ridicule the enlightened one, for the only reality they have ever known is a fuzzy shadow on a wall. They could not possibly comprehend another dimension without beholding it themselves; therefore, they label the enlightened man mad.

This story explains Plato?s theory on government. Plato felt the educated (the escaped prisoner) and the uneducated (the prisoners still in the cave) would both not make good leaders of the government. He felt that the best person to be head of state would be one who was in the in the cave, taken out of the cave, and then put back...