What is the main theme of Plato's "Allegory of the Cave" in the Republic?

The main themes of Plato's "Allegory of the Cave" in the Republic are that humanity cannot comprehend the true nature of reality through mere observation and perception and that philosophical reasoning must be utilized in order to reach true understanding.

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The main theme of Plato's Allegory of the Cave in the Republic is that human perception cannot derive true knowledge, and instead, real knowledge can only come via philosophical reasoning.

In Plato’s example, prisoners live their entire lives in a cave, only able to see shadows. To them, these shadows are reality. When a prisoner randomly guesses the next shadow to appear, that prisoner will be worshipped as having mastered nature. When one prisoner escapes and understands that life comes from the sun, he realizes his former view of reality based on human perception was wrong. When he returns to tell the other prisoners, they do not believe him, because they are still relying on their perception.

This idea also begins to uncover other issues with human perception. Humans are biased individuals who will explicitly or implicitly apply individual biases to what they perceive. Additionally, two humans can perceive the same object and derive a different meaning from it. For example, a rainstorm...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 991 words.)

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