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Plato’s Myths.

Mindful

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Neel Burton asks why the master reasoner turned to launching legends.​

Perhaps the most famous allegory in philosophy is Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, in which Plato, via Socrates, compares people who lack philosophical training to prisoners who have spent their entire lives in an underground cave and don’t realise that there is a vast world beyond what they perceive. The Allegory of the Cave does not quite cut it as a myth, insofar as it lacks the sacred dimension that is the core of myth. But Plato did also write ‘proper’ myths into his Socratic dialogues, thereby – and unusually for the time – bridging the sharp divide between mythos and logos : between storytelling and reasoned discourse.


 

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