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Reality Of The Shadows Essay

1113 words - 5 pages

Philosophers are often tempted to find out the hidden meanings behind the apparent reality. On the subject philosophers like Plato have built on his understanding of reality. Much of contemporary philosophy is still being based upon what Plato had left behind. Also, many other themes developed by philosophers can be related to Plato`s vision of reality and form. William Goulding in his essay, ‘Thinking as a Hobby’ assigns three grades to thinkers based on their understanding of the world and their perceptions of truth. The truth in Goulding`s (2004) writings can conveniently be related to the truth in Plato`s work, as the end meaning and the thematic vision is more or less similar in ...view middle of the document...

He found the courage to question her beliefs and bluntly ranting them out to her, thus claiming himself to have turned into a grade two thinker. It was when he met the German Professor Einstien who had fled from the Nazis that he claims to have become have understood what grade-one thinkers would be like. These people, quite rare in existence, question the norms and value the truth as opposed to perception and thus, their lives are characterized by wisdom, truth and knowledge. Also, by the end of the essay Goulding Claims that “I dropped my hobby and turned professional” which gives an impactful message that grade one thinkers find very hard to survive in the real world.
Goulding`s sense of grade one thinkers can be related to Plato`s idea of truth. In the Allegory of a Cave, Plato narrates a dialogue between his brother Glaucon and his mentor Socrates. The dialogue depicts a story where prisoners are chained to a wall of a cave, where their heads can only see the shadows on the wall. In reality, the people are living behind a fire and carrying stones and other accessories. Since the prisoners have their backs on the real images, they perceive their own versions of realities and connect them to what they see on the wall. One of the prisoners, however, gets free from the chains and is exposed to the real images which were earlier on his back, and thus, the image of reality completely changes. In other words, the free prisoners seek truth in the real image which kills his versions of reality when he was in denial (Corn 1998). The grade-three thinkers in the view of Goulding are also in denial as they have their backs on what is real, and they rather see from the eyes of their baggage and social constructs. Also, the journey from being a grade three thinker to grade one thinker is a gradual one where everything must be questioned in order to find truth. Thus, both Goulding and Plato tend to agree on the point that popular belief isn`t the reality, rather just a false perception.
Moreover, both the writings referred here embrace openness and liberation. Goulding begins his essay with the idea that he felt exhausted and...

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