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The Relevance Of Plato Cavern And Tao Te Ching To Today's Society

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The aim of philosophy is to clarify the answer any question about life on this Earth. Philosophy is a tool to understand the reality and existence, and each philosopher has his own way to analyze it. In this essay, two important philosophy texts of philosophers Plato and Laozi are going to be compared which are Plato Cavern and Tao Te Ching.

First, in terms of law, Plato tells us society will be served by its individuals, so Plato relied idealism to write his philosophy texts. According to Plato Cavern, prisoners create a society together, but seeing outside the cave by individuals could change the wrong idea of the society about the world outside the cave. In this example, Plato shared the idea of controlling the way society thinks, and this is going to be happens when individuals are serving the whole society for its benefits. “ If this person who had gotten out of the cave were to go back down again and sit in the same place as before, would he not find in that case, coming suddenly out of the sunlight, that his eyes were filled with darkness?'(Glaucon, Plato Cavern). In this quote, Plato claims that, even though it hurts them(individuals), but they have to oppose the general wrong ideas about life on Earth to show the society that this idea they used to believe in is wrong. Laozi also wanted to approach the point of comprise law in society for its people. He claims good, imagination of nature, and profits. It shows that Laozi relied naturalism to write his philosophy texts. He shows some strategy of a good governing to make a better society by using natural laws. There are two examples in the Tao Te Ching philosophy text by Laozi. “When one gives undivided attention to the (vital) breath, and brings it to the utmost degree of pliancy, he can become as a (tender) babe. When he has cleansed away the most mysterious sights (of his imagination), he can become without a flaw.” (Laozi). It supports how Laozi used very specific small details from nature, and how he was interested in using naturalism to confine people in terms of law. “of government in its securing order; that of (the conduct of) affairs is in its ability; and that of (the initiation of) any government is in its timeliness.” (Laozi). Moreover, in this example he exposed governing and confining people to law in a way that seems to be in terms of naturalism. Thinking about attaching people to law in terms of different theory idealism and naturalism of both philosophers leads to another point of how they got realism.

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Beside using their specific theories idealism of Plato and naturalism of Laozi, both wanted to get realism of life. As Plato mentioned in Plato cavern, prisoners need to be free and do challengings for changing their life, and transform invisible to visible. Plato is a way of seeing correctly. According to Plato Cavern, “Now, however, if someone, using force, were to pull him [who had been freed from his chains] away from there and to drag him up the cave’s rough and steep ascent and not to let go of him until he had dragged him out into the light of the sun…” (Glacon). this example highlights that Plato wants to say even the right way is hard and tough to get, the freed prisoner still have to go through challenging in order to deduce the right aspect of living outside the cave. Same as Plato, Laozi also wanted to get the realism of life. According to the Tao Te Ching, Laozi mentions how invisibility conceive time and self awareness to be deduced. Laozi is a way of comprehending what is cannot be seen, heard, or touched. As he says, “The equable(can’t be seen), the inaudible(can’t be heard), the subtle(can’t be held)” (Laozi). And another one is also exposes to stay calmly and uninterrupted. “Ceaseless in its action, it yet cannot be named, and then it returns and becomes nothing” (Laozi). Which means commence what you want to know, and never stop. It also leads to another term which is being knowledge and educated.

Moral excellence is another term to evaluate the similarities and differences between Plato’s text and Laozi texts. Plato is so much interested in education. Is shows how the lack of education makes the prisoners illogical thinkers. It is a way to get mass education. This is assessed as a new born child who knows nothing about his life, and he has no idea about how to fix struggles in life. He needs his parents incentive to get the education he needs to be a good person. Another example is using ‘shadow’ by Plato in the Plato Cavern in order to show the false understanding of the prisoners because they do not have mass education inside the cave. As Plato, Laozi also sought about moral excellence. Self examination is evident in Laozi philosophy texts in Tao Te Ching, he used water as an example to show how to behave and think about moral. “The excellence of water appears in its benefiting all things, and in its occupying, without striving(to the contrary), the low place which all men dislike. Hence (its way) is near to (that of) the Tao.” (Laozi). It shows how water arbitrary benefit all things in its way. It means that Laozi advises people do not do anything purposely and you just need to follow your heart.

To conclude, even though today’s society has a different style of living than before, we still need old important philosophy theories. The idealism of Plato and naturalism of Laozi are both important. Each of give benefits to our today’s society in their own way. I found this relation interesting because those texts by those philosophers were written in about many thousand years ago, and both are still influencing in many ways such as education, scientific investigations, law and natural confining.

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The Relevance Of Plato Cavern And Tao Te Ching To Today’s Society. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 27, 2023, from
“The Relevance Of Plato Cavern And Tao Te Ching To Today’s Society.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022,
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