A few days ago, I happened to come across this visualization of Plato’s thought provoking Allegory of the Cave. What the captives see and hear are shadows cast be objects they do not see. But what about the fire? The light of the fire makes the shadows possible. The visual metaphor seems to be central here: Accordingly, the observable world is an “imperfect image of a realm of unobservable and unchanging forms”*.
Where is the smell in this allegory?
In fact, I was wondering a bit more about the smoke of the fire and the captives smelling some smoky notes: Actually, do the captives smell the fire? And what difference could it make? All in all, the Allegory of the Cave also demonstrates the centrality of vision for Western thought.
*Robert Audi: Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy 1995, p. 619f
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