Colloquium 2 Saving the Appearances of Plato’s Cave

Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium of Ancient Philosophy 36 (1):31-56 (2021)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

This article considers Plato’s view of philosophy depicted in his cave analogy in light of Arendt’s distinction between Socratic and Platonic philosophy. Arendt argues that philosophy functions, for Socrates, in an immanent world, characterized by examining and considering—in addition to refining opinions through persuasion about—the currency of politics, which thereby closely associates philosophy with politics. On her view, Plato makes philosophy transcend politics—the world of opinion—when Socrates fails to persuade the Athenians. The cave analogy seems to support Arendt’s view that Plato disparages the immanent philosophical project she associates with Socrates. I argue that Plato depicts in the cave analogy particular difficulties in judging the assertion of the one who claims to have left, since, in the cave, that assertion becomes an opinion among opinions because it cannot be evaluated with reference to a transcendent truth by those in the cave. As a result, those in the cave cannot discern whether the one claiming to have left has the knowledge required to rule justly or is a tyrant claiming to have such knowledge in order to secure power. I conclude that Plato depicts the cave and its difficulties to invite the reader to engage in a philosophical project of judging for oneself, rather than accepting the rule of another who claims to know.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,283

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Colloquium 2 Commentary on Trott.Thornton C. Lockwood - 2021 - Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium of Ancient Philosophy 36 (1):57-62.
Toward a Feminist Ontology.Adriel M. Trott - 2006 - Philosophy Today 50 (Supplement):22-30.
How the Prisoners in Plato's Cave Are 'Like Us.'.Nicholas D. Smith - 1997 - Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium of Ancient Philosophy 13:187-204.
Revisiting Plato's Cave.Jacques Brunschwig - 2003 - Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium of Ancient Philosophy 19:145-77.
Eros and Necessity in the Ascent from the Cave.Rachel Barney - 2008 - Ancient Philosophy 28 (2):357-72.

Analytics

Added to PP
2022-11-17

Downloads
12 (#1,090,574)

6 months
3 (#984,114)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Adriel M. Trott
Wabash College

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references