Precis: Plato’s Good End

Plato delves into the importance of “the good” and how one attains it, and while it proves to be a complicated manner, Plato provides ample evidence to negate many contradictions. He provides the audience with the knowledge that the cave-dweller who was brought from the darkness to the light must be gradually introduced to the visual world, beginning with water and shadows, moving to animals, and finally ending with the sun. Plato compares this to the search for “good;” one must begin by finding the finding the “being” within everything, which will illuminate the “good itself,” and it leads to complete understanding. “He reaches the end of the intelligible, just as the other reached the end of the visible” (1148). We must understand the beginning and existence of everything before reaching the end, and the end is what allows us to understand “the good.”

Plato: “The Allegory of the Cave” from Book VII of The Republic (360 BC), Tr. G. M. A. Grube, rev. C. D. C. Reeve. Pp. 1132-1155. In: Plato: Complete Works. Ed. John M. Cooper. Assc. Ed. D. S. Hutchinson. Indianapolis, IN / Cambridge, UK: Hackett Publishing, 1997.

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