Allegory of the Cave

Among all the things we’ve discussed on Friday, this allegory particularly grabbed my attention. (It might be slightly out of focus, since we were concentrating on mathematics… 🙁 )

In the real world, since we know that shadow is caused by the presence of actual figure, there’d be no way to believe that it is the ‘real’ form. However, it was very new to consider the viewpoints of prisoners who’ve seen only shadows for their entire lives. Hence, to the escaped prisoner, everything that we perceive in normal everyday lives should be something beyond his or her imagination-just like us seeing 4D objects, by any chance. This made me think about the aspects of our world- especially ‘colors’. If we imagine our world to be the ‘Earth’, the prison ‘Space’ , the fire ‘Sun’, and all the laws of physics ‘chains’ around us, our views are very narrow and limited. What made me think about the ‘colors’ of our world is because it’s the best example of how human are deceived by the vision. To normal person, apples are red, bananas are yellow and grapes are purple. But it’s merely the result of those object’s abilities to absorb all the other colors except the color that’s reflected into our eyes. Also for color-blind people, they may perceive ‘red’ as green, and ‘blue’ as red. In the reality, nothing might have color; if the Sun’s light only had one frequency of light (ex: red), everything would look red to us (but of different darkness/lightness). We are actually ‘chained’ by what we perceive in our current world.

To sum up, the allegory really changed my previous perceptions about out world and led me to think that there might be the true ‘reality’ where we’re not restrained by what we perceive in static environment.

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