Paper Topic 1

Plato’s Allegory of the Cave claims that there is a reality that the mind can know through discipline and reason. The image of the charioteer in the dialogue Phaedrus 246a-247e (Velasquez, 13 ed. p.61) tells us that the soul or mind can reach an understanding of the perfect Forms or Ideas if the charioteer (reason) cancontrol the two steeds (the emotions and the appetites). These are beautiful and appealing images. But some people believe that in reality there isn’t a unique reality that we can apprehend; That in some ways we all live inside one cave or another and we all see different realities. Other people also disagree with Plato and believe that sometimes the emotions or the body (the appetites) can help us as much or more than reason to understand the world, and that the Forms do not really exist. Who is right? Provide support for your view and answer objections that someone holding the opposite view might have.

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