Tag Archives: plato

Contemporary Caves

Write an essay in which you apply Plato’s allegory of the cave to a contemporary social situation or problem using either a subject-by-subject or part-by-part approach for your comparison. Consider in what ways this comparison clarifies the situation or problem, and suggest what conclusions may be drawn from your comparison.

But First, A Word from Our Sponsors…

Did you notice the advertisements?

Suppose you could travel back in time, what products would have been advertised during humanity’s greatest moments?

What if we found sponsors …

What modern companies would you advertise along-side these historic firsts?

Perhaps we already have a time machine. Consider Isidore of Seville? Anne Frank? The Istanbul Rocketship?

Consider a “Top 200” company today. Of what moments in history would it pay great sums to be a sponsor?

Why shouldn’t the owner of Flavr Savr one day be our “official” sponsor?

(How to open links in colorbox)

The Most Important Choice of All

Suppose there is a genie with the power to turn back time to before you were born. She gives you the opportunity to decide who you want to be. Would you choose to be you? If so, does this show that you have a healthy self-esteem, or does it show that you think too highly of yourself? Suppose you have to choose to be somebody or something else. Who or what would you choose to be and why? In the Republic, Plato raises the question of reincarnation, the view that when you die you are reborn again as someone or something else. When he asks one hero of Greek mythology, Odysseus, what he would like to be in his next life, Odysseus replies that he would like to be a swan. Plato praises Odysseus’ choice, while criticizing people who choose to be rich, or famous, or powerful. Why do you suppose Odysseus chooses to be a swan, and why do you think Plato criticizes the other choices?

The Replacement Brother

Suppose you have a brother named Jimmy whom you love very much. One day, a crazy magician kills Jimmy, but then instantly replaces him with an exact copy. This copy is the same as Jimmy in every way, including implanted memories of the past. Would you still cry over Jimmy’s death?

According to Plato, you need not, because the copy reflects the form of beauty in the same way. Would you accept the substitute and love it just as you would the original? According to Plato, you should love them equally well. Many find this answer strange and therefore reject Plato’s theory.