EDITOR'S DESK: Banning books promotes inequality

Published: Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 05:11 PM.

 

Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave,” found in his seminal work, “The Republic” (circa fourth century B.C.) raises intriguing concepts that call to question whether ignorance is bliss.

In the analogy, the Greek Athenian philosopher Socrates questions the state of men who are shielded from reality most of their lives. The stage is set: men chained to a wall as fire at their backs casts shadows that show their sole connection to the outside world.

How sad it is.

They know nothing of the sun, moon or stars. The shadows they see are as real as anyone or anything we’d perceive, as they can’t grasp the mere concept of shadows. They’re oblivious to the larger world around them. They’re ignorant — but not willfully so.

Is it any wonder why college professors still teach this literary work in language arts and philosophy classes?

First, the story, of course, shouldn’t be taken literally. Like any allegory, events and concepts in Plato’s tale represent ideas open to interpretation.



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