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The Allegory of the Cave, the Ending of the Republic, and the Stages of Moral Enlightenment

Paul Hosle
From the journal Philologus

Abstract

This essay aims to shed new light on the stages of moral enlightenment in the Allegory of the Cave, of which there are three. I focus on the two stages within the cave, represented by eikasia and pistis, and provide a phenomenological description of these two mental states. The second part of the essay argues that there is a structural parallelism between the Allegory of the Cave and the ending of the Republic. The parallelism can be convincingly demonstrated by a purely formal analysis, but additionally it complements and reinforces the original interpretation of the Cave, insofar as the ending of the Republic also mirrors, on the level of content, the previously adduced stages of moral enlightenment.

Acknowledgements

This article was improved by the comments of Vittorio Hösle and anonymous reviewers, whom I would like to thank. I bear the sole responsibility for any remaining shortcomings.

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Published Online: 2020-06-06
Published in Print: 2020-06-03

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