The Allegory of the Cave (2023)

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write An essay written as a multi-sourced argument using the Toulmin model. Must quote, cite, and document at least four authors from the readings assigned for this unit and four outside sources using MLA style.

Topic: Epistemology and Education

Required Readings:

Plato The Allegory of the Cave

Answer :

The Allegory of the Cave is one of the masterpieces of Plato where Plato has carefully depicted the mental dilemmas in the adoption of illusion and reality. Besides, psychological dilemmas of humans in the case of making differences between perceptions and reality. At the same time, it has been noted that Plato has described the human nature of questioning in every assumption. The problem in thinking differently has been described in the writing of Plato. Plato’s Allegory of the Cave presents various ways of thinking differently and inspires students in focusing on the distinctions between reality and perceptions. On one hand, Peterson has opined in this regard that Plato’s, The Allegory of the Cave represents the impacts of manipulation and misinformation in the lives of people (5). The tension in the minds of the prisoners in the Cave symbolizes the perception of human beings whereas the outside world signifies the actual reality. People in the cave find the reality in the shadows which is quite similar to the modern days' society where people consider having wealth, money, and fame is the real meaning of life. The cave people are taught the unrealistic social norms and ideals for which they have accepted the shadows in the walls of the cave are the reality. But in actual reality, the lives outside the cave have meanings and significance as this holds the true form of reality. On the contrary to the previous idea, Ireyefoju has provided his opinions on this topic that human psychology in the case of constructing the education system for the purpose of self-realization has been painted through The Allegory of the Cave of Plato. Human conditions in the case of identifying the real truths have been described in this writing of Plato. The outside of the cave helps to solve the psychological dilemma in the minds of cave people. However, the delusion and skeptic behaviors of human beings from reality have been analyzed through the mindset of cave people. The ontological existence of the cave people has been depicted through this writing of Plato. At the same time, it represents truth or reality in front of the people by rejecting the perception of the shadows in the walls.

On the contrary to the previous writing, it has been noted that Freud has carefully handled the ideas on psychological dilemmas. Sigmund Freud’s The Oedipus Complex describes the psychological dilemma regarding sensual pleasure has been depicted through this writing. Mostly, Freud has presented the affection and love of a male child towards his mother by taking into another perception. This remarkable piece of writing has unfolded the unconscious sensual desires of a male child for his mother. In this case, Sophocles' Oedipus Rex describes the situation very clearly where it has been noted that the father of a male child becomes a rival of his son. However, Freud’s The Oedipus Complex revolves around the psychological dilemma of a child regarding his sensual desires for his mother. From a similar perspective, Benveniste has emphasized that Freud has tried to represent the psychological dilemmas among children in the case of the psychosexual development process (1). Defense mechanisms on psychological development have been reflected in the writing of Freud. Besides, the Oedipus complex among the children has been noted at their libido development stage or phallic stage where they understand they become aware of generational and gender differences. Aggressive fantasies during the time of the phallic development stage have become the reason for the Oedipus complex among the children. From a different point of view, Davies has opined that Fraud has described the sexual development process during childhood through tribulations and trials and the issues, as well as disintegrative yearnings during this stage, have been represented through the psychoanalysis theory, Oedipus complex. The overall writing has reflected the psychological dilemma in the minds of the child due to his love for his mother. Erotics of darkness have been presented in the writing of Freud while describing the development stage and the sensual love of the male child towards his mother. Along with this, the castration complex among the children has been discussed in the writing of Freud. Socialization of human id impulses related to the continuous demands of the external world under the control of ego and superego have been described through the presentation of the Oedipus complex.

However, the writing of Frederick Douglass, From Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave also reflects the importance of moral health as well as the psychological demands of the Black Negro people for the purpose of achieving freedom. Douglass's narrative is the representation of the minds of Black Negro people to get freedom for the sake of raising voice for the abolition of slavery. On one hand, Zubak has provided their views in this context that intercultural issues related to stereotyping, prejudice, racism, and several other things towards the Black people have been reflected through Douglass’s writing, From Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave (9). Along with this, the cultural bias and torture towards the Black slaves in American society have been depicted with the help of the artistic creation of Douglass. Psychological demands regarding freedom by the American slave have been presented through this writing. Douglass has tried to present the long-term struggle of the black Negro slave to get independence and liberty. At the same time, the theme of double consciousness has been related to the writing of Douglass. Racial injustice or dichotomy in American society has been reflected through this writing as this clearly depicts how white slaves are favored and black slaves are neglected. However, it has been noted that the existing atrocities in American society towards the black Negro people have been presented through the personal autobiography of Douglass. On the contrary to the previous idea, Virgananda et al. have opined “It is a condition complexly someone to adaptations and struggle. Everybody has the same equal rights that can save him everywhere.” (14). Based on this, it can be opined that the psychological issues related to social injustices and inequality have decreased the human motivations and increased the struggle to achieve independence. The issues in meeting the basic psychological needs of the author as well as other black slaves have been described in From Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. From a similar context, Ritchane has stated that the writing of Douglass reflects the ex-centric and expanded sites of empowerment and experience where the black people are always marginalized in the hands of white people in the American society (3). Alongside, the countless torture of the black people in the case of meeting basic needs has been reflected through the writing of Douglass. However, From Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave of Douglass represents the psychological needs of black people to get freedom from the clutches of the racial dichotomy and atrocities of American society.

Carl Jung’s The Personal and the Collective Unconscious has also reflected the ideas' objective psyche while describing the deepest unconscious minds of people. The psychological issues regarding collective unconsciousness have been described in the selected writing of Jung which is somehow genetically inherited not a personal experience. Collection unconscious is one of the popular theories in psychological analysis. Psychological dilemmas in the case of presenting the deep-seated beliefs of the people have been analyzed in the writing of Jung. It has been noted that cognitive bias reflects the minds and thoughts of people to a great extent. From a similar point of view, West has provided his opinions in this topic that the management of relational trauma during the psychological development stage has been one of the complex things (1). Jung has described that for the purpose of managing the trauma in the development stage, controversial and radical theories are applied for better outcomes. Complex theory in psychological analysis discusses the psychic situation and complexity among the people which influence their lives. According to Jung, the ego complex influences the personality of people. It has been noted that people suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to psychological issues. However, contrary to the previous ideas, Kapustin has argued in this context that mental disorders as well as psychological problems have been noted among the people due to different types of human behaviors’ (1). However, existential dichotomies create issues in the psychological thought process of people which has been described in the words of Carl Jung, in his writing The Personal and the Collective Unconscious. Jung has described that nonproductive personality neglects contradictive structure through existential dichotomies which increases the chances of psychological problems as well as mental disorders among the people.

Furthermore, Francis Bacon, The Four Idols also incorporates the ideas of the psychological structure of human minds. The mental process has been discussed in the writing of Francis Bacon. Four idols of human minds have been presented in the forms of tribe, cave, theater, and marketplace. However, it has been noted that Bacon has shed light on the topic of human perception which is like false mirrors. Human senses, perceptions, and understandings are just like the false mirrors which are different from reality whereas idols of the cave represent the problems of people, enthusiasm, passions, ideologies, and devotions which led human beings to misinterpret the true nature of the real things. From a similar point of view, Wagenmakers et al. have commented that scientific methods have helped to understand the complexities in the minds of human beings while describing the psychological issues. However, Bacon has focused on political discourse and its issues or problems with the help of idols of the marketplace. Along with this, empty controversies as well as idle fancies on human minds have been reflected through the writing of Bacon in The Four Idols. From a different perspective, Lancaster has provided his views in this regard that Bacon has carefully depicted the psychological process in the case of adopting the real things (163). However, the idols of theater signify the long-received wisdom, arbitrary divisions, classification systems, and knowledge regarding various facts. Based on this, it can be opined that rationalist views can help people to understand the actual reality of the world.


In a nutshell, it can be summed up by saying that the overall assignment has analyzed the dilemmas in the main protagonists of all the selected writings. Age-old concepts regarding critical theories can be changed in the minds of students with the application of epistemology in learning. However, all the selected writings have carefully dealt with the selected discourse. Apart from this, the overall writing has reflected the ideas of psychological dilemmas and psychological issues among the people. However, it can be opined that epistemology can positively influence the minds of readers in the case of changing the ideas on psychological issues and dilemmas among the people regarding various subjects through learning.

Reference list

Benveniste, Daniel. "Sigmund Freud and Libido Development." (2015).

Davies, Jody Messler. "From Oedipus complex to Oedipal complexity: Reconfiguring (pardon the expression) the negative Oedipus complex and the disowned erotics of disowned sexualities." Psychoanalytic Dialogues 25.3 (2015): 265-283.

Ireyefoju, Paul Jackson. "Constructing education for self-realization on the basis of Plato's Human Psychology: the Nigerian experience." International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences 48 (2015): 192-197.

Kapustin, Sergey A. "an existential criterion of normal and abnormal personality in the works of carl Jung and carl Rogers." Psychology in Russia: State of the art 9.2 (2016).

Lancaster, James AT. "Rhetoric and the Familiar in Francis Bacon and John Donne." Journal of Early Modern Studies 4.2 (2015): 163-165.

Peterson, Valerie V. "Plato’s Allegory of the Cave: literacy and “the good”." Review of Communication 17.4 (2017): 273-287.

Ritchane, Mohammed. "Echoes of WEB Du Bois' Double-Consciousness in the" Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass"." Inquiries Journal 11.04 (2019).


Wagenmakers, Eric-Jan, Gilles Dutilh, and Alexandra Sarafoglou. "The creativity-verification cycle in psychological science: New methods to combat old idols." Perspectives on Psychological Science 13.4 (2018): 418-427.

West, Marcus. "Complexes and archetypes." Retrieved from The Society for Analytical Psychology website: http://www. thesap. org. uk/resources/articles-on-jungianpsychology-2/about-analysis-and-therapy/complexes-and-archetypes (2017).

Zubak, Goran. Using the slave narrative Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave to promote intercultural competence in the English Language Classroom. MS thesis. 2020.

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