This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Plato's Theory Of Knowledge Essay

1276 words - 5 pages

Plato's Theory of Knowledge


Plato's Theory of Knowledge is very interesting. He expresses this theory with three approaches: his allegory of The Cave, his metaphor of the Divided Line and his doctrine The Forms. Each theory is interconnected; one could not be without the other. Here we will explore how one relates to the other.

In The Cave, Plato describes a vision of shackled prisoners seated in a dark cave facing the wall. Chained also by their necks, the prisoners can only look forward and see only shadows, These shadows are produced by men, with shapes of objects or men, walking in front of a fire behind the prisoners. Plato states that for the prisoners, reality is only the mere shadows thrown onto the wall. Another vision is releasing a prisoner from his chains, how his movements are difficult, his eye adjustment painful and suggestions of the effects of returning to the cave. The Cave suggests to us that Plato saw most of humanity living in "the cave", in the dark, and that the vision of knowledge and the "conversion" to that knowledge was salvation from darkness. He put it this way, "the conversion of the soul is not to put the power of sight in the soul's eye, which already has it, but to insure that, insisted of looking in the wrong direction it is turned the way it ought to be." Plato's two worlds: the dark, the cave, and the bright were his way of rejecting the Sophists, who found "true knowledge" impossible because of constant change. Plato believed there was a " true Idea of Justice". The Cave showed us this quite dramatically.

The Divided Line visualizes the levels of knowledge in a more systematic way. Plato states there are four stages of knowledge development: Imagining, Belief, Thinking, and Perfect Intelligence. Imagining is at the lowest level of this developmental ladder. Imagining, here in Plato's world, is not taken at its conventional level but of appearances seen as "true reality". Plato considered shadows, art and poetry, especially rhetoric, deceptive illusions, what you see is not necessarily what you get. With poetry and rhetoric you may be able to read the words but you may not understand the "real" meaning. For example, take, again, the shadow. If you know a shadow is something "real" then you are beyond the state of imagination which implies that a person is "unaware of observation and amounts to illusion and ignorance".
Belief is the next stage of developing knowledge. Plato goes with the idea that seeing really is not always believing we have a strong conviction for what we see but not with absolute certainty. This stage is more advanced than imagining because it's based more firmly on reality. But just because we can actually see the object and not just it's shadow doesn't mean we know all there is to know about the object.
In the next stage, Thinking, we leave the "visible world" and move into the "intelligible world" which, Plato claims, is seen mostly in...

Find Another Essay On Plato's Theory of Knowledge

Critique Of Plato's Theory Essay

951 words - 4 pages Critique of Plato's Theory In Plato's writings he addresses the issue of knowledge. How can one know things if not introduced to them by experience? Thus, Plato claimed that all knowledge was gained through experience. Not only is it derived from experience, but it is also a changing thing. Everything in life changes, therefore people's knowledge will change. Different people who live in different times and areas will know different

Knowledge of Good in Plato's The Republic

970 words - 4 pages knowledge of goodness is a sufficient condition for being good. A person who has seen what goodness is will henceforth act in a way that is good. Is this belief justified? For instance, we sometimes do things that we know are not good but we do them nonetheless and feel guilty after that. If, as such cases imply, knowledge of goodness is not a sufficient condition for being good, then Plato's dream of a utopia ruled by philosopher-kings could well be a

Glaucon's Challenge and Plato's Theory of Justice in Plato's Republic

1939 words - 8 pages injustice is never more profitable to a person than justice and Thrasymachus withdraws from the argument, granting Plato’s response. Glaucon, however, is not satisfied and proposes a challenge to Plato to prove that justice is intrinsically valuable and that living a just life is always superior. This paper will explain Glaucon’s challenge to Plato regarding the value of justice, followed by Plato’s response in which he argues that his theory of

Theory of Knowledge

1219 words - 5 pages supported the Copernican theory (that the Earth and all the planets move around the sun). Galileo was tortured and excommunicated, although his theory was correct.The question of morals is often used in scientific arguments over whether or not knowledge should be sought, as seen recently with the debate over genetic engineering. Such an approach shows a backward view to science, similar to the persecution of the supporters of Copernicus by the

The Theory of Knowledge

1671 words - 7 pages know whether Olber’s paradox was due to other unexplained phenomena of physics and must therefore require the development of knew knowledge to disprove it. The knowledge shown to be wrong by Olber however was proven to be wrong in Einstein’s ‘Theory of General and Special Relativity’. Einstein showed that Newton’s model was impossible and that a different model would need to be found (which was found by Edwin Hubble in 1929). Einstein proved the

The Theory of Knowledge

1686 words - 7 pages many hypotheses and theories, such as Newton’s laws of physics and the Big Bang theory this often leads to the subject knowledge being further built upon and evolved. Although Scientific claims and hypotheses are frequently discarded, they can also be slightly altered to make them not false. Most frequently in the natural sciences, if theories have taken hold and are proven to be false, they may be replaced by a theory that simply changed minor

Theory of Knowledge Essay

1245 words - 5 pages considered a myth. The idea of a spherical earth was introduced by Greek astronomy, specifically Pythagoras. The main element that proved this new theory was Columbus and his travels. A limitation to this example is that now days the idea of the world being flat is a myth and not seen as a scientific idea so it might not be seen as natural sciences or knowledge but rather a myth in history. In the natural sciences an important way of knowing is sense

Theory of Knowledge

706 words - 3 pages because information may or may not be processed into knowledge depending on the situation. Think of someone entirely new to biology. How would someone know how the skeletal system works? Reading about it in theory is only one side of the system. If, however, a student takes an existing skeleton apart and learns about the different roles and functions played by each physical component, in time, the student will know enough about them and their

The Theory of Knowledge

1781 words - 7 pages . Hindsight allows for predictions based on the past, a theory vindicated by history sometimes repeating itself. For example, there were clear similarities between the causes of the two World Wars, such as feelings of being wronged that prompted belligerence; the belief in pre-emptive action to prevent invasion and that war would distract the populace with nationalism. In history, knowledge in the past was rejected, but not discarded. All

Theory of Knowledge Essay

1067 words - 5 pages The knowledge available is sometimes limited by ethical judgments but it depends on each human being how much would that knowledge could be limited for both natural sciences and arts depending on the aims and focuses that the scientist, artist or viewer on it respective case if the morals and ethical judgments of supposed person are against something this person will never dig into it however there is people that think different, were rose

Theory of Knowledge Essay

1136 words - 5 pages The methods that available in the production of knowledge are limited by the ethical judgments, but the definition of whether the method is ethical or not depends on a couple different things. The first one is the personal judgments. Each person would have different judgments for the same method. However, one personal based judgment cannot be universal. The second one is the social judgment. It is related to the personal judgment. When a

Similar Essays

Plato's Theory Of Human Knowledge Essay

910 words - 4 pages Plato's Theory of Human Knowledge Plato contended that all true knowledge is recollection. He stated that we all have innate knowledge that tells us about the things we experience in our world. This knowledge, Plato believed, was gained when the soul resided in the invisible realm, the realm of The Forms and The Good. Plato's theory of The Forms argued that everything in the natural world is representative of the ideal of that form. For

Plato "The Republic" Explain And Evaluate Plato's Theory Of Knowledge

1148 words - 5 pages Plato's triangular theory of knowledge expounded in "The Republic" has acted as one of the most important contributions in philosophical history - particularly to the field of epistemology. Plato uses three powerful metaphors to explain what knowledge and goodness are: The simile of the sun, the image of the divided line, and the most famous of all, the allegory of the cave. The study of epistemology is primarily concerned with what knowledge is

Plato's Cave : The Reality Of Plato Branksome Hall Theory Of Knowledge Essay On Plato's Cave

678 words - 3 pages him even though he tried to educate people. Nevertheless, he was in danger of being executed. By this fact, I have a question about the opinion of enlightened educating people. Should they take the risk even though they have the chance to die? Does it have to be a mission for the enlightened? In Plato’s theory, the cave represents people who believe that knowledge comes from what we see and hear in the world – empirical evidence. The cave shows

Plato's Theory Of Education Essay

1015 words - 4 pages of these mathematical concepts elevate the individual's form of thought in one truly monumental aspect. Moreover, the knowledge derived from arithmetic and geometry is invisible and as a result, causes the soul of the individual to proceed into a higher form of philosophical thought. Once the individual's soul is searching for its answers on an even more complex scale, they will transition to the final level in Plato's Theory of Education