Plato’s Allegory of the Cave

QUESTIONS:Chapter 1: Plato’s Allegory of the Cave 1. What are some things the allegory suggests about the process of enlightenment or education? 2. The allegory presupposes that there is a distinction between appearances and reality. Do you agree? Why or why not?3. What sometimes happens to people when the illusion is shattered and reality is revealed? Can you give an example from your own or a friend’s experience?Chapter 2: Plato’s Euthyphro4. What it is that makes Socrates “philosophical” while Euthyphro is not?5. What sorts of questions does Socrates ask and what sorts of answers does Euthyphro give?6. The dialogue ends inconclusively: Euthyphrohas not been able to arrive at a satisfactory definition of the pious. Does this mean the whole discussion between Socrates and Euthyphro was a complete waste of time? Why or why not?Chapter 3: Plato’s Apology of Socrates7. Socrates is famous for saying that “an unexamined life is not worth living for a human being.” What does he mean by this? What’s so valuable about examining one’s life?8. When Socrates is suggesting that his “penalty” be free meals in the Prytaneum, he compares himself to the victor in an Olympic race. He says that while victory brings the Athenians only the appearance of success, Socrates brings the reality of success. What service does Socrates think he is doing for the Athenians that cannot be matched by the winner of an Olympic race? How does examining the citizens of Athens bring them true success?9. Socrates thinks that the person who is aware of his ignorance is wiser than the person who thinks he knows something when he doesn’t. But if neither person knows anything, how can one be wiser than the other? What kind of wisdom could Socrates be referring to here?

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