"Plato's Allegory of the Cave" Discussion Questions

  1. Describe Plato’s cave analogy. What is this supposed to tell us about ourselves? What does it tell us about what it means to have knowledge?
  2. Plato is very skeptical about the “visible realm.” For him, knowledge is always of the “intelligible realm.” Describe what distinction Plato means to draw when he talks of these two realms. Why do you think he is skeptical of the visible realm? Do you think this skepticism is merited?
  3. What is the aim of education, according to Plato? How does this compare to how we think about education in today’s society? Do we have anything to learn from Plato? Why?
  4. Plato thinks that philosophers should be rulers. Why do you think he thinks this? And what are Plato’s worries if someone other than a philosopher rules? Are these worries merited? What does this tell us about contemporary politics?
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