By Plutarch

"On voudrait que le lecteur fût d'abord good à cela : l'atmosphère amicale, l. a. parole circulante, les rires, les emportements et les apartés, peut-être les clins d'oeil, peut-être le cratère, los angeles grande coupe dans laquelle on mélangeait le vin, qui silencieusement passe de major en major. Toutes choses qui sont un peu plus que les circonstances en donnant l. a. parole ; automobile ces choses-là, en un sens, sont au coeur de cette parole, au coeur des débats, puisqu'il y est notamment query d'amitié et que l'amitié trouve dans ce rituel l'une de ses expressions et l'un de ses lieux privilégiés."

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As they grow up, the finest young men and women amongst them will be exposed in their education to the reality of the Forms. Because earlier, in childhood, they had been told the Noble Falsehood, they are now also in a position to feel “Aha! ” In their education, they are being exposed to the true nature of reality for the first time, but their souls have already been set up to embrace it with gusto. It’s like getting a joke many years after you’ve heard the punch line. Only in this case the joke is the idea that ordinary physical objects constitute reality.

This lack of orientation lends extraordinary power to the stories one hears. Once one has acquired the capacity to recognize allegory as such, one can recognize a story as a surface-story, and then go on to inquire into its deeper meaning. But before one acquires the capacity, it is not merely that one cannot recognize the surface-story as such, the very idea of surface is unavailable. For one has no idea of depth with which to contrast it. It is precisely this capacity to distinguish surface from depth that one acquires as one acquires the capacity to recognize allegory as such.

36 JONATHAN LEAR As such, the Cave seeks to instill a new form of Socratic ignorance. As is well known, in the Apology Socrates says that he discovered he was the wisest among humans because he knew that he didn’t know. But the Cave is a story that is designed to put Glaucon, and anyone else ready to hear it, into a position where they can begin to recognize that they don’t know. 518c). Certainly, what we are turning away from are images, shadows, echoes, allegories not recognized as such. Thus we are turning away from a dreamlike state.

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