Plato: “Allegory of the Cave”

(ca. 380 BCE)

Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” appears in Book VII of his most famous and influential philosophical dialogue, The Republic. Plato was a classical Greek philosopher and a citizen of the Greek city-state of Athens in the first half of the fourth century BCE—one of the most fervently intellectually creative periods in human history. The larger purpose of The Republic is to define justice and to argue that justice is more beneficial for both the individual and society than its opposite, injustice. The main speaker in the dialogue is Plato's mentor, Socrates. It is Socrates who uses the...

Image for: Plato: “Allegory of the Cave”

Bust of Socrates (Yale University Art Gallery)

View Full Size