Plato/Aristotle on the Allegory of the Cave and the Divided Line

Evan Webster
Ms. Efimov
November 9th, 2009
Aristotle’s Opinion on The Allegory of the Cave and the Divided Line Theory
Plato, one of the most famous and well known philosophers in Ancient Greece, made his views of the world very clear in The Republic. Plato believed that forms and the transcendent world are much more real than the natural world. He called this separation the world of Being (forms) and the world of Becoming (natural world). Plato outlined that the world of Becoming is always changing, and that senses cannot be trusted, therefore anything perceived by senses is not necessarily real. It is forms and the world of Being that is real, because they are impermanent. For example, a basketball perceived by the senses is not necessarily real, but the form of roundness is reflected within the basketball and that is unchanging. Another person could perceive the basketball as a soccer ball or a beach ball, so the senses do not always portray the right things. It is the forms of roundness, orange, bouncy, etc. which make the basketball real, not the way it looks, feels, smells, etc. It is these major points that are the key elements of Plato’s theory, and this theory is reflected in The Allegory of the Cave and the divided line theory. However, another philosopher and a student of Plato named Aristotle disagreed with this theory. Aristotle believed that the forms exist, but that they are a part of every object, and that our senses ultimately tell us what that object is. He was something of an early materialist. Plato’s theories are most definitely expressed through The Allegory of the Cave and the divided line theory because they are very similar, but Aristotle would have a very different view on this matter.
It is clear that The Allegory of the Cave and the divided line theory reflect many of same principles, one of them being the definite split between the intelligible world and the visible world in the eyes of Plato. In The Allegory of the Cave,...