Plato's "The Allegory of the Cave"


Diagram of the cave:


Professor Presentation:


Questions for Small Group Discussion

Group One:  What is the allegorical meaning of the following details:  cave, shadows, light (fire, sun), bonds, cave dwellers?

Group Two:  What does Plato say about persons who view the light?

Group ThreeWhat happens to a person who makes it out of the cave and then returns?  Why would such a person want to return?  If he returns, what is the result?  

Group Four:  In the paragraph that spans pages 4 and 5, explain why Homer says that someone would prefer to be a serf.  What are the implications of this point for the cave dwellers and those who see the light?  What homology emerges?  (Homology:  As A is to B, so C is to D.)

Group Five:  What is Plato saying about education in the paragraph that spans pages 5 and 6 and in the paragraph on page 6 that begins, "'But the present argument...'"?  What types of education does Plato identify?


Further Questions for Large-Group Discussion


Link to paper topics:


Before you leave today, exchange e-mail addresses and phone numbers with the persons in your group.  Remember that the folks in Group One need to make an appointment with me to talk about Mill's text next week.