Plato and the cave essay

Socrates then proceeds to find the corresponding four virtues in the individual (434d).  Socrates defends the analogy of the city and the individual (435a-b) and proceeds to distinguish three analogous parts in the soul with their natural functions (436b).  By using instances of psychological conflict, he distinguishes the function of the rational part from that of the appetitive part of the soul (439a).  Then he distinguishes the function of the spirited part from the functions of the two other parts (439e-440e).  The function of the rational part is thinking, that of the spirited part the experience of emotions, and that of the appetitive part the pursuit of bodily desires.  Socrates explains the virtues of the individual’s soul and how they correspond to the virtues of the city (441c-442d).  Socrates points out that one is just when each of the three parts of the soul performs its function (442d).  Justice is a natural balance of the soul’s parts and injustice is an imbalance of the parts of the soul (444e).  Socrates is now ready to answer the question of whether justice is more profitable than injustice that goes unpunished (444e-445a).  To do so he will need to examine the various unjust political regimes and the corresponding unjust individuals in each (445c-e).

In the third of five illustrated talks by different writers exploring THE CAVE as a theme, Alan Read, Professor of Theatre at Kings College London, presents a fascinating philosophical reflection in this essay about Plato's Cave. Alan first considers the room in which he imagines a listener is sitting, and then the listener's relationship to the space in which they are sitting; the floor and the four walls. He then suggests the listener imagines what the room would be like if a wall is removed. The room is then transformed into a stage; a theatrical space. From here, Alan discusses ideas about the spectator and the performance, and the relationship between the spectator and their surroundings. These reflections lead to consideration of Plato's Cave; the story, setting, symbolism, meaning and relevance today. The programme considers reality and theatre, and ideas about theatricality, performers and spectators. The essay concludes with a story set in a cave; but it's a surprising end; a new take on an old story.
Writer and narrator : Alan Read
Additional sound recordings by : Chris Watson
Producer: Sarah Blunt.

Plato and the cave essay

plato and the cave essay

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