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The Allegory of the Cave by Mind Map: The Allegory of the Cave
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The Allegory of the Cave

Thoery of Forms


Highest Echelon of Truth/Reality/Knowledge

Materialistism/ Immaterialism


The Cave

Prisoners chained up and immboilised

Large fire behind the prisoners

Walkway between the prisoners and the fire

People walk along this path everyday, carrying various items on their heads and casting shadows on the wall

The shadows on the wall is all the prisoners can see

The echoes off the wall are all the prisoners hear

These shadows and echoes are the prisoners reality

Outside the Cave

One of the prisoners is freed from the cave and brought outside

He is dazzled by the sunlight

He doesn't understand the things he sees

He is desperate to return to the cave, as that is all he knows - his reality

Eventually, he adapts and begins to understands the world

Return the the Cave

When the freed prisoner returns to the cave to tell the prisoners of the world outside the cave, they can't understand or visual what he is saying

The freed prisoner looks at the cave wall, but his eyes. now accustomed to the daylight, cannot focus on the shadows properly

He is unable to name the names of the shadows on the wall as they pass and is mocked and ridiculed by the other prisoners for corrupting his eyes - for corrupting his reality.


A shadow on a wall is a 2d representation of a 3d object

A 3d object in our reality represents the shadow of a 4d object in 3d

A tesseract is to a cube as a cube is to a square

A shadow in 3 dimensions of a 4 dimensional hypercube

Carl Sagan - 4th Dimension



Subjective Idealism/ Immaterialism - George Berkeley

Internal V External

Objects exist only as sensory stimuli

"Bundles of sense-data", Atomical structure, Quantum Mechanics, Reality breaks down the harder and closer we look, Randomness, Double-slit experiment, Mere observation