The Cave

October 2, 2008

September, the month of freshman anxieties, extravagant dreams, and soothing lies has now tumbled to the earth amid the half-chewed acorns and carnelian leaves. It is October, and time once again to tell the truth about higher education.

The all-time favorite image of truth-seeking in higher education, of course, is Plato's account of the cave at the beginning of book seven of The Republic.  Plato had the misfortune of living before modern cinema, which led him to construct an impossibly complicated allegory about people chained to benches in the cave, bonfires to cast light on the wall and servants carrying assorted objects to generate shadows for the prisoners to watch.   We eventually make out the story that the folks on the benches are living in a world of illusion from which one brave fellow escapes...

Schools: University of Delaware Cases: University of Delaware: Students Required to Undergo Ideological Reeducation