1. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    04 Mar '14 20:193 edits
    "Plato's Cave"

    "The Allegory of the Cave

    1. Plato realizes that the general run of humankind can think, and speak, etc., without (so far as they acknowledge) any awareness of his realm of Forms.

    2. The allegory of the cave is supposed to explain this.

    3. In the allegory, Plato likens people untutored in the Theory of Forms to prisoners chained in a cave, unable to turn their heads. All they can see is the wall of the cave. Behind them burns a fire. Between the fire and the prisoners there is a parapet, along which puppeteers can walk. The puppeteers, who are behind the prisoners, hold up puppets that cast shadows on the wall of the cave. The prisoners are unable to see these puppets, the real objects, that pass behind them. What the prisoners see and hear are shadows and echoes cast by objects that they do not see. Here is an illustration of Plato’s Cave: [From Great Dialogues of Plato (Warmington and Rouse, eds.) New York, Signet Classics: 1999. p. 316.]

    4. Such prisoners would mistake appearance for reality. They would think the things they see on the wall (the shadows) were real; they would know nothing of the real causes of the shadows.

    5. So when the prisoners talk, what are they talking about? If an object (a book, let us say) is carried past behind them, and it casts a shadow on the wall, and a prisoner says “I see a book,” what is he talking about? He thinks he is talking about a book, but he is really talking about a shadow. But he uses the word “book.” What does that refer to?

    6. Plato gives his answer at line (515b2). The text here has puzzled many editors, and it has been frequently emended. The translation in Grube/Reeve gets the point correctly: “And if they could talk to one another, don’t you think they’d suppose that the names they used applied to the things they see passing before them?”

    7. Plato’s point is that the prisoners would be mistaken. For they would be taking the terms in their language to refer to the shadows that pass before their eyes, rather than (as is correct, in Plato’s view) to the real things that cast the shadows.
    If a prisoner says “That’s a book” he thinks that the word “book” refers to the very thing he is looking at. But he would be wrong. He’s only looking at a shadow. The real referent of the word “book” he cannot see. To see it, he would have to turn his head around.

    8. Plato’s point: the general terms of our language are not “names” of the physical objects that we can see. They are actually names of things that we cannot see, things that we can only grasp with the mind.

    9. When the prisoners are released, they can turn their heads and see the real objects. Then they realize their error. What can we do that is analogous to turning our heads and seeing the causes of the shadows? We can come to grasp the Forms with our minds.

    10. Plato’s aim in the Republic is to describe what is necessary for us to achieve this reflective understanding. But even without it, it remains true that our very ability to think and to speak depends on the Forms. For the terms of the language we use get their meaning by “naming” the Forms that the objects we perceive participate in.

    11. The prisoners may learn what a book is by their experience with shadows of books. But they would be mistaken if they thought that the word “book” refers to something that any of them has ever seen. Likewise, we may acquire concepts by our perceptual experience of physical objects. But we would be mistaken if we thought that the concepts that we grasp were on the same level as the things we perceive."

    http://faculty.washington.edu/smcohen/320/cave.htm

    Comment: The limitations to an enlightened understanding portrayed in Plato's Cave parallel as well as illustrate the present impasse status of our conversation in "One Remaining Question": Thread 158209 My thanks to its contributors. -Bob
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    04 Mar '14 20:27
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    Comment: The limitations to an enlightened understanding portrayed in Plato's Cave parallel as well as illustrate the present impasse status of our conversation in "One Remaining Question": Thread 158209 My thanks to its contributors. -Bob[/b]
    You still have two postings, where I've posed questions to you. Do you start a new thread to avoid answering those question? You find them at Thread 158209
  3. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    04 Mar '14 20:351 edit
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    You still have two postings, where I've posed questions to you. Do you start a new thread to avoid answering those question? You find them at Thread 158209
    "One Remaining Question" Originally posted by Grampy Bobby (Page 4)

    "Appears we're at an impasse for the nonce. I've got a doctor's appointment in the morning and errands to run but will give thought to your questions and our lack of a common frame of reference for the purpose of continuing later this week. Meanwhile, let's return to the OP. Thanks."

    It's become abundantly clear that a wide array of off topic issues and anecdotal stories have complicated the challenge of restoring this thread to its original "One Remaining Question". Nonetheless, I'll keep the promise italicized above. -Bob
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    04 Mar '14 21:29
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    [b]"Plato's Cave"

    "The Allegory of the Cave

    1. Plato realizes that the general run of humankind can think, and speak, etc., without (so far as they acknowledge) any awareness of his realm of Forms.

    2. The allegory of the cave is supposed to explain this.

    3. In the allegory, Plato likens people untutored in the Theory of Forms to pris ...[text shortened]... ion in "One Remaining Question": Thread 158209 My thanks to its contributors. -Bob[/b]
    I don't think they are wrong in calling what they see "a book".

    The question is, why would they call it a book to begin with? Do they have knowledge of the concept of a book? If their entire spectrum of knowledge is built around the shadows on the wall, then they are perfectly correct in calling one shadow a book. They are effectively widening their lexicon.

    It is only when they have previously knowledge of the definition of "a book" that they may be called premature or flat out wrong for calling a certain shadow a book.

    I think.
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    04 Mar '14 22:082 edits
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    [b]"Plato's Cave"

    "The Allegory of the Cave

    1. Plato realizes that the general run of humankind can think, and speak, etc., without (so far as they acknowledge) any awareness of his realm of Forms.

    2. The allegory of the cave is supposed to explain this.

    3. In the allegory, Plato likens people untutored in the Theory of Forms to pris ...[text shortened]... ion in "One Remaining Question": Thread 158209 My thanks to its contributors. -Bob[/b]
    The allegory is not unlike that of E.A. Abbott's Flatland, a novella that explores a two dimensional world. One day a sphere passes through it. All the inhabitants can see is the appearance of a point, that grows as an expanding circle to a maximum, then diminishes to a point and then is gone. The central character cannot fathom this, until he is in 3d Spaceland.

    He also visits Lineland and Pointland.

    Much of the story is a satire on British Victorian society. It was not a big hit but gained some attention when Einstein's ideas on time as a fourth dimension became popular.

    It is at:

    http://www.eldritchpress.org/eaa/FL.HTM

    I guess, based on this comparison, my question as an escapee from the cave is, how do we, who can see the objects underlying the shadows that are seen in the cave, know that we are not merely in "the next cave up" seeing the shadows projected from the next cave up from ours? If the caves eventually stop succeeding one by the next, how do we know we are not already in the cave of ultimate reality?
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    05 Mar '14 05:251 edit
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    Comment: The limitations to an enlightened understanding portrayed in Plato's Cave parallel as well as illustrate the present impasse status of our conversation in "One Remaining Question": Thread 158209 My thanks to its contributors. -Bob
    Yes, that you are stuck in a cave due to your lack of enlightenment is obvious to all. But if you made a bit more effort, you could at least look out the corner of your eye. But I suspect you are wearing blinkers too.

    Remember that it was you and not your opponents in that thread who was failing to see the others point, so we must conclude that you are the unenlightened one.
  7. Standard memberblack beetle
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    05 Mar '14 11:03
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    [b]"Plato's Cave"

    "The Allegory of the Cave

    1. Plato realizes that the general run of humankind can think, and speak, etc., without (so far as they acknowledge) any awareness of his realm of Forms.

    2. The allegory of the cave is supposed to explain this.

    3. In the allegory, Plato likens people untutored in the Theory of Forms to pris ...[text shortened]... ion in "One Remaining Question": Thread 158209 My thanks to its contributors. -Bob[/b]
    As regards case 8 of the OP, Plato goes down the drain: for, whatever "we can grasp with the mind", is as "true" as any other representation of our senses.

    Plato, as a Pythagorean, was trying to relate the core of a virtue to an objective idea that has to be perceived as "truly" is. How? By means of a strict dogma that has the shape of a philosophic analysis, but which is in fact pure metaphysics;

    On the contrary, methinks any “truth” depends solely on one’s interpretation; the further one digs into the reality of the physical world, the further one examines one’s self, and during this examination one's inner world and one's ideas (and of course the realm of the Platonic Ideas) are also examined. My point is that, once the individual (and thus any kind of subjective constitution of one’s senses, and therefore any kind of one's products and ideas that are dependent on the subjective constitution of one's senses, like the Platonic realm of Ideas etc etc) is taken away, all kinds of appearances (and the plexus of the ideas that depend on them) disappear, therefore by definition all kinds of appearances lack of inherent existence due to the fact that they are solely mind dependent. The nature of these objects cannot be known to us as without reference to the receptivity of our sensibility. In any case, it seems to me we are always in front of specific modifications of the mind, whilst whatever is really transcendental is to us utterly unknown😵
  8. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    06 Mar '14 03:22
    Originally posted by black beetle
    As regards case 8 of the OP, Plato goes down the drain: for, whatever "we can grasp with the mind", is as "true" as any other representation of our senses.

    Plato, as a Pythagorean, was trying to relate the core of a virtue to an objective idea that has to be perceived as "truly" is. How? By means of a strict dogma that has the shape of a philosophic ...[text shortened]... c modifications of the mind, whilst whatever is really transcendental is to us utterly unknown😵
    Originally posted by black beetle
    As regards case 8 of the OP, Plato goes down the drain: for, whatever "we can grasp with the mind", is as "true" as any other representation of our senses.

    "8. Plato’s point: the general terms of our language are not “names” of the physical objects that we can see. They are actually names of things that we cannot see, things that we can only grasp with the mind."

    bb, seems to me that Plato agrees with you. Am I missing the point? -gb
  9. Standard memberblack beetle
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    06 Mar '14 10:10
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    Originally posted by black beetle
    As regards case 8 of the OP, Plato goes down the drain: for, whatever "we can grasp with the mind", is as "true" as any other representation of our senses.

    "8. Plato’s point: the general terms of our language are not “names” of the physical objects that we can see. They are actually names of things that we ca ...[text shortened]... grasp with the mind."

    bb, seems to me that Plato agrees with you. Am I missing the point? -gb
    Plato’s Ideas are perfect abstract entities located in the World of Noesis; all kinds of existence in the physical world are in his opinion replicas or reflections of those entities of the World of Noesis. He even believed that the human beings were living as distinct mental formations in the World of Noesis before their Fall. Plato came to these conclusions during his struggle to find specific constants of the human actions and of everything whose nature is worth of understanding. So, for example In Republic, Socrates argues that Justice in the soul consists in each part of the soul doing its own, and Glaucon and Adeimantus accept his arguments; in short, this is the case with all the Ideas (Eros, Agape, Good etc etc).

    On the contrary, methinks that Plato’s Ideas are not inherently existent perfect abstract entities that live somewhere on their own, but mental products of our mind alone😵
  10. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    06 Mar '14 11:07
    Originally posted by black beetle
    Plato’s Ideas are perfect abstract entities located in the World of Noesis; all kinds of existence in the physical world are in his opinion replicas or reflections of those entities of the World of Noesis. He even believed that the human beings were living as distinct mental formations in the World of Noesis before their Fall. Plato came to these conclu ...[text shortened]... fect abstract entities that live somewhere on their own, but mental products of our mind alone😵
    Thanks for this accurate explanation of the progression of his ideas in context. You are a man given to studying authors and their topics in depth over many years. If things were different, 'methinks' bb would make an excellent pastor-teacher.
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