Friday, November 16, 2012

plato study questions

Here are your study questions.  Feel free to comment with questions or ideas. (Online original here; thanks to Professor Michael Sudduth of San Francisco State.)

1. According to Socrates, what does the Allegory of the Cave represent?

2. What are the key elements in the imagery used in the allegory?

3. What are some things the allegory suggests about the process of enlightenment or education?

4. What do the imagery of "shackles" and the "cave" suggest about the perspective of the cave dwellers or prisoners?

5. In society today or in your own life, what sorts of things shackle the mind?

6. Compare the perspective of the freed prisoner with the cave prisoners?

7. According to the allegory, lack of clarity or intellectual confusion can occur in two distinct ways or contexts. What are they?

8. According to the allegory, how do cave prisoners get free? What does this suggest about intellectual freedom?

9. The allegory presupposes that there is a distinction between appearances and reality. Do you agree? Why or why not?

10. If Socrates is incorrect in his assumption that there is a distinction between reality and appearances, what are the two alternative metaphysical assumptions?


  1. So I found this video that does a great job of summarizing Plato's allegory if you're having trouble with it, but I still highly recommend you read the original because it is a really interesting story. Hope this helps!

  2. I tried to click on the online original and it sent me to a page that said "Sorry, the site you requested has been disabled" just fyi!