Back in our Descartes episode, we brought up the movie The Matrix as an example of the kind of situation whose possibility motivates Descartes’s project of doubt. Here’s a video getting into some of the other ways of interpreting this metaphor about deception:
Watch on YouTube.
Our concern here is Plato’s allegory of the cave, which we referred to in the recent Plato’s Republic episode (and also in our previous Plato on knowledge episode) without ever really laying out the story with the clarity it deserves. Starting around 3:45min into this clip, John Patridge tells the story, though generically, indicating that truth is hidden from us, and we could potentially break out of our deception and be enlightened. Without filling in the account to indicate what Plato thinks the truth is, this of course could mean anything: we could discover that all is God, or be imbued with the light of Reason, or confront the Absurd, or any number of other things. It should be clear, then, how Plato’s imagery could be coopted by Christianity or any kind of mysticism, despite the fact that Plato’s rationalism appears exactly opposed to the kind of mysticism that eschews analysis.