Philosophy and metaphysics gurus, do you remember Plato’s Allegory of the Cave? A Socratic dialogue in Plato’s Republic, the allegory imagines a group of captives chained inside an underground cave.
The prisoners can only stare directly forward.
Above and behind them, a great fire blazes, while between the fire and the captives stands a partition.
As a result, the captives, with their heads fixed forward, can only see shadows and projections. They come, as such, to believe that the shadows of objects are the real things.
Now imagine, the allegory’s narrator asks, that a captive is allowed to leave.
What would the freed man see on the outside? Would he return once he’s come to appreciate the real world? And if he does, how would he be greeted by the captives, after suggesting that a world exists beyond their shadow realm?
Things wouldn’t turn out too well.
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