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Platos Picture Show Essay

The Cave image is significant: link between philosophy and the cinema. Like Platos cave the cinema is dark where we are transfixed by mere images that are removed from reality. Watch images that are projected onto a screen. Images are copies of the real things outside the cinema. Highly realistic images vs the cave shadows. We are prisoners as we are prevented from grasping the true order of things by the limits of everyday experience, the limits of out ordinary conception of the world. To gain knowledge is to escape from this.

The implication is that we can be effectively controlled by other people when we take for reality the images they feed to us, when we believe what they wasn’t us to believe. Only if we become critical, if we come to see these false images for what they are, we will be in a position to free ourselvfes from this kind of enslavement. Growing up when we are young we uncritically accept whatever we are told about the world. As we grow up we realize weve accepted things without question when infact they are questionable. Cave calls to mind forms of imprisonment and their overcoming in a wider social context.

Ex. Advertisement. This is a far more effective form of social manipulation than coercion because we are willing to do what people want us to do. Plato uses the cave to illustrate his account of knowledge. Questions faith that we place on our ordinary senses, all that our senses reveal to us are mere shadows and illusions removed from reality. Descartes questions reliance on sense experience for knowledge. 2 arguments: Dream argument dreams can be lucid, how do I know that I am awake right now and not asleep. There are no sure signs where you can distinguish being awake from being asleep.

Platos cave connection: if the cinematic image is an illusion, it is an illusion we voluntarily subject ourselves to an are fully aware that its an illusion. The problem is that any test we come up with for determining whether we are dreaming or not such as pinching ourselves or seeing if our eyes are open might itself be part of the dream. Raises the possibility thatwhat we presently experience might be a dream and what we think is real might not be real. We dream of things from waking experience so atleast there is some sort of idea what the world is like Evil demon argument

Some malicious demon of the utmost power and cunning has employed all his energies in order to deceive me. The matrix ex. cypher betrays his comrades because he wants to escape from harsh reality and return to the unreal comforts of the matrix. Just like how platos prisoners were happier left in their original state. Films go so far as to introduce bizarre, dream like elements into their apparently realistic settings. The effect is to unsettle, put the audience on the edge rather than to destroy the illusion of reality they present.

These films force us to fundamentally re-think our assumptions about what we are seeing, and about the reality of what we experience, and to appreciate the vulnerability of the senses to deception. Rationalism & Empiricism Rationalists Approach * Downplays the role of the senses in the acquisition of knowledge * The senses only give us access to a world of shifting appearances whereas knowledge hasd to do with what is unchanging and eternal * Senses are too prone to error, illusion and deception to provide reliable information whereas knowledge has to be certain.

* It is our reason or intellect alone that can give us genuwine knowledge * For plato we are like the prisoners in thee cave to the extent that we rely on sense experience. * The use of reason amounts to a process of recollection in which we gain knowledge by recalling information that is already present in our minds, acquired prior to birth but which we have forgotten. * True nature of things forms are timeless, unchanging essences of things, existing entirely beyond the world of experience.

* The objects we encounter in our ordinary experience are all imperfect copies, mere shadows, distant echos of these perfect forms. * Descartes–> reason tells us we cant doubt our existence. No matter how deceived I might be, I have to exist inorder to be deceived. I think therefore I am. Empiricism Is seeing believeing? No rather what we experience is always subject to interpretation or judgement by prior beliefs.


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