Poopsex The Divided Line (The Republic , Book VI) Socrates You have to imagine, then, that there are two ruling powers, and that one of them is set over the intellectual world, the other over the visible. I do not say heaven, lest you should fancy that I am playing upon the name. May I suppose that you have this distinction of the visible and intelligible fixed in your mind? Glaucon I have. Socrates Now take a line which has been cut into two unequal parts and divide each of them again in the same proportion, and suppose the two main divisions to answer, one to the visible and the other to the intelligible, and then compare the subdivisions in respect of their clearness and want of clearness, and you will find that the first section in the sphere of the visible consists of images. And by images I mean, in the first place, shadows, and in the second place, reflections in water and in solid, smooth and polished bodies and the like: Do you understand? Glaucon Yes, I understand.
Socrates Imagine, now, the other section, of which this is only the resemblance, to include the animals which we see, and everything that grows or is made. Glaucon Very good. Socrates Would you not admit that both the sections of this division have different degrees of truth, and that the copy is to the original as the sphere of opinion is to the sphere of knowledge? 1 Glaucon Most undoubtedly. Socrates Next proceed to consider the manner in which the sphere of the intellectual is to be divided. Glaucon In what manner? Socrates Thus: There are two subdivisions, in the lower of which the soul uses the figures given by thw former division as images; the enquiry can only be hypothetical, and instead of going upwards to a principle descends to the other end; in the higher of the two, the soul passes out of hypotheses, and goes up to a principle which is above hypotheses, making no use of images as in the former case, but proceeding only in and through the ideas themselves. 2 Glaucon I do not quite understand your meaning. Socrates Then I will try again; you will understand me better when I have made some preliminary remarks.
You are [email protected] of geometry, arithmetic, and the kindred sciences assume the odd and the even and teh figures and three kinds of angles and the like in their several branches of science; these are their hypotheses, which they and everybody are supposed to know, and therefore they do not deign to give any account of them either to themselves or others; but they begin with them, and go on until they arrive at last, and in a consistent manner, at their conclusions? Glaucon Yes, I know. Socrates And do you not know also that although they make use of the visible forms and reason about them, they are thinking not of these, but of the ideas which they resemble; not of the figures which they draw, but of the absolute square and teh absolute diameter, and so on, the forms which they draw or make, and which have shadowsa and reflections in water of their own, are converted by them into images, but they are really seeking to behold the things themselves, which can only be seen with the eye of the mind? Glaucon That is true. Socrates And of this kind I spoke as the intelligible, although in the search after it the soul is compelled to use hypotheses; not ascending to a first principle, because she is unable to rise above the region of hypothesis, but employing the objects of which the shadows below are resembalcnes in their turn as images, they having in relation to the shadows and reflections of them a greater distinctness, and therefore a higher value. Glaucon I understand that you are speaking of the province of geometry and the sister arts. Socrates And when I speak of the other division of the intelligible, you will understand me to speak of that other sort of knowledge which reason herself attains by the power of dialectic, using the hypotheses not as first principles, but openly as hypotheses, that is to say, as steps and points of departure into a world which is above hypotheses, in order that one may soar beyond them to the first principle of the whole; and clinging to this and then to that which depends on this, by successive steps she descends again without the aid of any sensible object, from ideas through ideas and in ideas one ends. . .
. And now, corresponding to these four divisions, let there be four faculties in the soul, intelligence answering to the highest, reason to the second, belief (or conviction) to the third, and perception of shadows or illusion to the last, and let there be a scale of them, and let us suppose that the several faculties have clearness in the same degree that their objects have truth. Glaucon I understand and give my assent, and accept your argument. The Allegory of the Cave (The Republic , Book VII) Socrates And now, I said, let me show in a figure how far our nature is enlightened or unenlightened:, Behold! human beings living in an underground den, which has a mouth open towards the light and reaching all along the den; here they have been from their childhood, and have their legs and necks chained so that they cannot move, and can only see before them, being prevented by the chains from turning round their heads. Above and behind them a fire is blazing at a distance, and between the fire and the prisoners there is a raised way; and you will see, if you look, a low wall built along the way, like the screen which marionette players have in front of them, over which they show the puppets.
Glaucon I see. Socrates And do you see, I said, men passing along the wall carrying all sorts of vessels, and statues and figures of animals made of wood and stone and various materials, which appear over the wall? Some of them are talking, others silent. Glaucon You have shown me a strange image, and they are strange prisoners. Socrates Like ourselves, I replied; and they see only their own shadows, or the shadows of one another, which the fire throws on the opposite wall of the cave? Glaucon True, he said; how could they see anything but the shadows if they were never allowed to move their heads? Socrates And of the objects which are being carried in like manner they would only see the shadows? Glaucon Yes, he said. Socrates And if they were able to converse with one another, would they not suppose that they were naming what was actually before them? And suppose further that the prison had an echo which came from the other side, would they not be sure to fancy, when one of the passers-by spoke that the voice which they heard came from the passing shadow? Glaucon No question, he replied. Socrates To them, I said, the truth would be literally nothing but the shadows of the images.
Glaucon That is certain. Socrates And now look again, and see what will naturally follow if the prisoners are released and disabused of their error. At first, when any of them is liberated and compelled suddenly to stand up and turn his neck round and walk and look towards the light, he will suffer sharp pains; the glare will distress him, and he will be unable to see the realities of which in his former state he had seen the shadows; and then conceive some one saying to him, that what he saw before was an illusion, but that now, when he is approaching nearer to being and his eye is turned towards more real existence, he has a clearer vision,, what will be his reply? And you may further imagine that his instructor is pointing And when to the objects as they pass and requiring him to name them, will he not be perplexed? Will he not fancy that the shadows which he formerly saw are truer than the objects which are now shown to him? Glaucon Far truer. Socrates And if he is compelled to look straight at the light, will he not have a pain in his eyes which will make him turn away to take refuge in the objects of vision which he can see, and which he will conceive to be in reality clearer than the things which are now being shown to him? Glaucon True, he said. Socrates And suppose once more, that he is reluctantly dragged up a steep and rugged ascent, and held fast until he is forced into the presence of the sun himself, is he not likely to be pained and irritated? When he approaches the light his eyes will be dazzled, and he will not be able to see anything at all of what are now called realities? Glaucon Not all in a moment, he said. Socrates He will require to grow accustomed to the sight of the upper world.
And first he will see the shadows best, next the reflections of men and other objects in the water, and then the objects themselves; then he will gaze upon the light of the moon and the stars and the spangled heaven; and he will see the sky and the stars by night better than the sun or the light of the sun by day? Glaucon Certainly. Socrates Last of all he will be able to see the sun, and not mere reflections of him in the water, but he will see him in his own proper place, and not in another; and he will contemplate him as he is. Glaucon Certainly. Socrates He will then proceed to argue that this is he who gives the season and the years, and is the guardian of all that is in the visible world, and in a certain way the cause of all things which he and his fellows have been accustomed to behold? Glaucon Clearly, he said, he would first see the sun and then reason about it. Socrates And when he remembered his old habitation, and the wisdom of the den and his fellow-prisoners, do you not suppose that he would felicitate himself on the change, and pity them? Glaucon Certainly, he would. Socrates And if they were in the habit of conferring honors among themselves on those who were quickest to observe the passing shadows and to remark which of them went before, and which followed after, and which were together; and who were therefore best able to draw conclusions as to the future, do you think that he would care for such honors and glories, or envy the possessors of them? Would he not say with Homer, Better to be the poor servant of a poor master, and to endure anything, rather than think as they do and live after their manner? Glaucon Yes, he said, I think that he would rather suffer anything than entertain these false notions and live in this miserable manner. Socrates Imagine once more, I said, such a one coming suddenly out of the sun to be replaced in his old situation; would he not be certain to have his eyes full of darkness? Glaucon To be sure, he said.
Socrates And if there were a contest, and he had to compete in measuring the shadows with the prisoners who had never moved out of the den, while his sight was still weak, and b …