Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Visiting one or two new builds in SL - The Cave

The SLED list inspired me with information about a build called “The Cave”. I spent hours with my daughter studying The Cave alongside other allegories when she was studying philosophy at A level a few years ago. It is a very simple but effective build and so true to the story. I really enjoyed seeing it and recommend it to anyone interested in philosophy.

The notecard at the entrance to the cave says:

Just Imagine...

You and your friends and family and fellow citizens have spent your entire life chained together with your heads facing front and your eyes watching an inner cave wall. Unknown to you there are real people and animals behind you near the opening of the cave, near a fire, and they alone are free to cast shadows over your heads onto that inner cave wall. Your entire life is spent inside the cave thinking the shadows before you were, in fact, all there was to see and know. However, one day you escape from your chains and leave the cave.
On your way out you cannot believe that there was a fire used to cast shadows. But you do get out and then you really can’t believe what you see. At first your eyes are blinded by the sun but then you come to see the real world is so much more robust, more detailed and more beautiful than you ever imagined inside the cave. Now that you know how things really are you feel you must tell your family and friends and fellow citizens. Returning to the cave you try to convince the poor souls who remain that they’ve lived a lie in the shadows their whole lives, but of course they don’t believe you...

To participate:
            Inside the cave, you will find benches made of rock. 
            There are balls on each of these benches that mark places for you to sit.
            Right-click with your mouse on one of these balls, and choose "Sit".
            You will then be facing the shadows on the wall...
            When you are ready to leave, click "Stand Up" to release yourself from the chains.

Then, reflect on these questions...
            Could you ever go back and live in the cave?  Why or why not?
            Why won't the others believe you if you try to convince them of the truth?
            In what ways might Plato's allegory be relevant to life in today's society?
            In what ways might Plato's allegory apply to your own life's experience?

Jack G. Musselman
St. Edward's University

The Slurl for the build is http://slurl.com/secondlife/Teaching%203/85/206/23

To find out more visit: http://www.academiccommons.org/commons/essay/plato-cave-second-life

Plato's Allegory of the Cave can be found in Book VII of Plato's Republic (514a-520a) 

The links offered there to explain the significance of The Cave in differnt contexts is:

1. Cave in Plato's own text (Republic VII 514a-520a)

2. Cave and the Matrix

3. Cave and education

4. Cave and financial markets

5. Cave and lawyers at work

6. Cave and public policy

7. Cave and science fiction

8. Cave and the war in Iraq

9. Cave as claymation

10. Cave and philosophy

No comments: