Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

1.3.2 Source

The Allegory of the Cave 

An English translation of the original text can be found at: https://yale.learningu.org/download/ca778ca3-7e93-4fa6-a03f-471e6f15028f/H2664_Allegory%20of%20the%20Cave%20.pdf


For interpretation: Plato’s idea that empiric reality is simply a shadow, an image of invisible, true reality, has had immense after-effects even today. This is especially true with the transformation of Platonism to Neo-Platonism which became more open to dialogue with religion and was strongly influenced by Christianity. 

Plato represents a duality between body and soul. The soul is immortal which the body is mortal and must decay. The body is the prison of the soul: σωμα  σημα ψυχησ. In church history, this conception has linked itself with a misunderstood term that Paul uses with devastating effects. Through the influence of Neoplatonism, Paul’s term “the flesh” (σαρξ ) was associated with the negative Platonic notion of the σωμα. In the popular understanding, the Resurrection is frequently understood as the soul’s living on after the death of the body.