Let’s discuss: The allegory of the cave

Okay so if you read that title and thought 💭 WTF? **Let’s help you out real quick!

The allegory of the cave is a philosophical idea explored in one of Plato’s works titled: The Republic. The allegory aims to depict the impact that education/ knowledge can have on one’s understanding of themselves and the world around them. It does this by painting a picture of a group of human beings tied together inside a cave. In this cave the people see shadows and at first many of them see these shadows on the walls of the cave as independent entities. As time goes on some of the individuals realize that these shadows are actually connected to them.

The point that Plato was trying to make here was one of appearance vs reality. The way you view the world (or a situation) might not always be correct. Sometime you might be misinformed, be influenced by an unconscious bias or simply ignorant to possibility. But once you equip yourself with knowledge and understanding, your perspective will change and come from a place that is better informed.

I really love this philosophical concept because it forces you to think about all of the possibilities in a situation and not just how something makes you feel. In business, this allegory is very helpful especially when working in a team where you have to contribute to 1 project but there are conflicting ideas/ views in the room. It helps to be able to remove your emotions from a decision and actually look at something objectively by asking questions and understanding why people say the things they say or suggest. By doing this, you teach your mind to be fluid and neutral while learning how other people think compared to how you think and how to stitch some/ all schools of thinking to attain a desired and successful outcome.

And that’s it! Now you can use this topic in your next DMC (Deep Meaningful Conversation) with your fellow millennial friends or your colleague and get their perspective of the allegory of the cave that you can hopefully share with me!

**Disclaimer: I am by no means a Philosopher nor did I study philosophy. These are just my Musings and interpretations on society and literature that grab my attention 🙂


3 thoughts on “Let’s discuss: The allegory of the cave

  1. A youtube channel (the school of life) aims to explain this in a slightly different way. Having read the book a couple of times, i at times pause to think if i am still in the cave. The enemy of knowledge is not ignorance but the illusion of knowledge.

    Liked by 1 person

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