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Comentários Linha Dividida Alegoria da Caverna

spélaion (tó) lomíÀatOv há): caverna. Latim: spelunca.


Alegoria criada por Platão no início do livro VII da República
(514a-518b) para representar a condição humana e a missão
do filósofo.
A caverna representa o mundo sensível, lugar dos corpos nos
quais se encarnaram as almas depois da queda do mundo
inteligível. A penumbra na qual eles estão mergulhados é a
penumbra do conhecimento obscuro, do qual as almas só
conseguirão libertar-se pela purificação (kátharsis) e pela
dialética (dialektiké), para obter o conhecimento inteligível,
representado pela luz solar.
Pode-se resumir assin1 a alegoria da caverna:
Alegoria
Os homens, desde o nascimento, estão
acorrentados numa morada subterrânea.
Das realidades exteriores, às quais
dão as costas, eles só conhecem a
projeção das sombras na parede.
o prisioneiro liberto é incapaz de se
mover no mundo real; fica ofuscado
e não pode distinguir os verdadeiros
objetos.
Os prisioneiros arrastados para fora
revoltam-se e preferem voltar para a
caverna.
Se eles quiserem realmente ver o
mundo superior, precisarão proceder
de modo sistemático: ver primeiramente
as sombras dos homens
e suas imagens na água, para depois
ver os objetos. Em seguida, verão à
noite a lua e as estrelas e, finalmente,
o próprio sol.
136
Significado
Os homens, desde a encarnação, estão
mergulhados na penumbra do
corpo.
Eles só conhecem as verdadeiras
Realidades eternas pelo mundo sensível,
que é sombra do mundo real
(dóxa).
A libertação da alma é difícil e dolorosa:
nos primeiros graus da kátharsis,
não é possível conhecer as
Essências.
Devido a essa dificuldade, a maioria
dos homens rejeita a filosofia.
Se quiserem realmente ver o mundo
superior, precisarão passar pela dialética:
primeiramente, a conjectura (eikasía),
depois a percepção (pístis),
em seguida o conhecimento das Essências
(eíde) e por fim o conhecimento
do próprio Bem (Agathón).
Então, eles ficam sabendo que é O
sol que governa o mundo sensível, e
que ele também era a causa das
sombras na parede.
Aquele que, habituado à visão do
sol, volta à caverna, fica com os
olhos feridos pela visão.
Apesar disso, retorna, por piedade
pelos companheiros de outrora.
Mas estes zombam de sua atitude
desprendida e se recusam a segui-lo
para o alto. Sentem até mesmo ódio
por ele e procuram matá-lo.
Então, o filósofo vê que o Bem é a
causa das Essências, assim como do
mundo sensível.
o filósofo só sente indiferença pelo
mundo sensível e por seus prazeres:
nele só encontra incômodo e desagrado.
No entanto, ele se mistura aos homens
para trazer-lhes a verdade.
Mas estes não reconhecem sua santidade
e se negam à conversão. Preferem
livrar-se dele definitivamente,
como ocorreu com Sócrates.

The Analogy of the Divided Line (γραμμὴ δίχα τετμημένη) is presented by the Greek philosopher Plato in the
Republic (509d–511e). It is written as a dialogue between Glaucon and Socrates, in which the latter further
elaborates upon the immediately preceding Analogy of the Sun at the former's request. Socrates asks Glaucon to not
only envision this unequally bisected line but to imagine further bisecting each of the two segments. Socrates
explains that the four resulting segments represent four separate 'affections' (παθήματα) of the psyche. The lower
two sections are said to represent the visible while the higher two are said to represent the intelligible. These
affections are described in succession as corresponding to increasing levels of reality and truth from conjecture
(εἰκασία) to belief (πίστις) to thought (διάνοια) and finally to understanding (νόησις). Furthermore this Analogy not
only elaborates a theory of the psyche but also presents metaphysical and epistemological views.
This analogy is immediately followed by the Analogy of the Cave at 514a. Socrates returns once more to the elements
of the divided line (533d-534a) as he summarizes his dialectic.

Description

The divided line, one of three analogies (with the sun and cave) offered in Plato’s Republic (VI, 509d– 511e) as a
partial explanation of the Good. Socrates divides a line into two unequal segments: the longer represents the
intelligible world and the shorter the sensible world. Then each of the segments is divided in the same proportion.
Socrates associates four mental states with the four resulting segments (beginning with the shortest): eikasia, illusion
or the apprehension of images; pistis, belief in ordinary physical objects; dianoia, the sort of hypothetical
reasondispositional belief divided line 239 4065A-g.qxd 08/02/1999 7:36 AM Page 239 ing engaged in by
mathematicians; and noesis, rational ascent to the first principle of the Good by means of dialectic. See also PLATO,
SOCRATES.
The Republic.
Na corpora de A República
The moral and metaphysical theory centered on the Forms is most fully developed in the Republic, a dialogue that
tries to determine whether it is in one’s own best interests to be a just person. It is commonly assumed that injustice
pays if one can get away with it, and that just behavior merely serves the interests of others. Plato attempts to show
that on the contrary justice, properly understood, is so great a good that it is worth any sacrifice. To support this
astonishing thesis, he portrays an ideal political community: there we will see justice writ large, and so we will be
better able to find justice in the individual soul. An ideal city, he argues, must make radical innovations. It should be
ruled by specially trained philosophers, since their understanding of the Form of the Good will give them greater
insight into everyday affairs. Their education is compared to that of a prisoner who, having once gazed upon nothing
but shadows in the artificial light of a cave, is released from bondage, leaves the cave, eventually learns to see the
sun, and is thereby equipped to return to the cave and see the images there for what they are. Everything in the
rulers’ lives is designed to promote their allegiance to the community: they are forbidden private possessions, their
sexual lives are regulated by eugenic considerations, and they are not to know who their children are. Positions of
political power are open to women, since the physical differences between them and men do not in all cases deprive
them of the intellectual or moral capacities needed for political office. The works of poets are to be carefully
regulated, for the false moral notions of the traditional poets have had a powerful and deleterious impact on the
general public. Philosophical reflection is to replace popular poetry as the force that guides moral education. What
makes this city ideally just, according to Plato, is the dedication of each of its components to one task for which it is
naturally suited and specially trained. The rulers are ideally equipped Plato Plato 711 4065m-r.qxd 08/02/1999 7:42
AM Page 711 to rule; the soldiers are best able to enforce their commands; and the economic class, composed of
farmers, craftsmen, builders, and so on, are content to do their work and to leave the tasks of making and enforcing
the laws to others. Accordingly what makes the soul of a human being just is the same principle: each of its
components must properly perform its own task. The part of us that is capable of understanding and reasoning is the
part that must rule; the assertive part that makes us capable of anger and competitive spirit must give our
understanding the force it needs; and our appetites for food and sex must be trained so that they seek only those
objects that reason approves. It is not enough to educate someone’s reason, for unless the emotions and appetites
are properly trained they will overpower it. Just individuals are those who have fully integrated these elements of the
soul. They do not unthinkingly follow a list of rules; rather, their just treatment of others flows from their own
balanced psychological condition. And the paradigm of a just person is a philosopher, for reason rules when it
becomes passionately attached to the most intelligible objects there are: the Forms. It emerges that justice pays
because attachment to these supremely valuable objects is part of what true justice of the soul is. The worth of our
lives depends on the worth of the objects to which we devote ourselves. Those who think that injustice pays assume
that wealth, domination, or the pleasures of physical appetite are supremely valuable; their mistake lies in their
limited conception of what sorts of objects are worth loving.

Now take a line which has been cut into two unequal parts, and divide each of them again in the same
proportion,[2] and suppose the two main divisions to answer, one to the visible and the other to the
intelligible, and then compare the subdivisions in respect of their clearness and want of clearness, and
you will find that the first section in the sphere of the visible consists of images. And by images I mean,
in the first place, shadows, and in the second place, reflections in water and in solid, smooth and
polished bodies and the like: Do you understand?

Yes, I understand.

Imagine, now, the other section, of which this is only the resemblance, to include the animals which we
see, and everything that grows or is made.[3]
The visible world
Thus AB represents shadows and reflections of physical things, and BC the physical things themselves. These
correspond to two kinds of knowledge, the illusion (εἰκασία eikasia) of our ordinary, everyday experience, and belief
(πίστις pistis) about discrete physical objects which cast their shadows.[4] In the Timaeus, the category of illusion
includes all the "opinions of which the minds of ordinary people are full," while the natural sciences are included in
the category of belief.[4]
The intelligible world
According to some translations,[2] the segment CE, representing the intelligible world, is divided into the same ratio
as AC, giving the subdivisions CD and DE (it can be readily verified that CD must have the same length as BC:[5]
There are two subdivisions, in the lower of which the soul uses the figures given by the former division
as images; the enquiry can only be hypothetical, and instead of going upwards to a principle descends to
the other end; in the higher of the two, the soul passes out of hypotheses, and goes up to a principle
which is above hypotheses, making no use of images as in the former case, but proceeding only in and
through the ideas themselves (510b).[3]
Plato describes CD, the "lower" of these, as involving mathematical reasoning (διάνοια dianoia),[4] where abstract
mathematical objects such as geometric lines are discussed. Such objects are outside the physical world (and are not
to be confused with the drawings of those lines, which fall within the physical world BC). However, they are less
important to Plato than the subjects of philosophical understanding (νόησις noesis), the "higher" of these two
subdivisions (DE):
And when I speak of the other division of the intelligible, you will understand me to speak of that other
sort of knowledge which reason herself attains by the power of dialectic, using the hypotheses not as
first principles, but only as hypotheses — that is to say, as steps and points of departure into a world
which is above hypotheses, in order that she may soar beyond them to the first principle of the whole
(511b).[3]
Plato here is using the familiar relationship between ordinary objects and their shadows or reflections in order to
illustrate the relationship between the physical world as a whole and the world of Ideas (Forms) as a whole. The
former is made up of a series of passing reflections of the latter, which is eternal, more real and "true." Moreover, the
knowledge that we have of the Ideas – when indeed we do have it – is of a higher order than knowledge of the mere
physical world. In particular, knowledge of the forms leads to a knowledge of the Idea (Form) of the Good.[1]
Tabular summary of the Divided Line
Segment Type of Affection of the Type of object Method of the psyche Relative truth and reality
knowledge psyche or eye
or opinion
DE Noesis Knowledge Only Ideas, which The Psyche examines all Highest
(νόησις) (Understanding): are all given hypotheses by the
understanding of existence and truth Dialectic making no use
only the Intelligible by the Good itself of likenesses, always
(νοητόν) (τὸ αὐτὸ ἀγαθόν) moving towards a First
Principle
CD Dianoia Knowledge Some Ideas, The Psyche assumes High
(διάνοια) (Thought): thought specifically those of hypotheses while
that recognizes but is Geometry and making use of
not only of the Number likenesses, always
Intelligible moving towards final
conclusions
BC Pistis (πίστις) Opinion (Belief): visible things The eye makes probable low
belief concerning (ὁρατά) predictions upon
visible things observing visible things
AB Eikasia Opinion likenesses of visible The eye makes guesses lowest
(εἰκασία) (Imagination): things (εἰκόνες) upon observing
conjectures likenesses of visible
concerning likenesses things
Metaphysical importance
The Allegory of the Divided Line is the cornerstone of Plato's metaphysical framework. This structure, well hidden in
the middle of the Republic, a complex, multi-layered dialogue, illustrates the grand picture of Plato's metaphysics,
epistemology, and ethics, all in one. It is not enough for the philosopher to understand the Ideas (Forms), he must
also understand the relation of Ideas to all four levels of the structure to be able to know anything at all.[6][7][8] In
the Republic, the philosopher must understand the Idea of Justice to live a just life or to organize and govern a just
state.[9]
The Divided Line also serves as our guide for most past and future metaphysics. The lowest level, which represents
"the world of becoming and passing away" (Republic, 508d), is the metaphysical model for a Heraclitean philosophy
of constant flux and for Protagorean philosophy of appearance and opinion. The second level, a world of fixed
physical objects,[10][11] also became Aristotle's metaphysical model. The third level might be a Pythagorean level of
mathematics. The fourth level is Plato's ideal Parmenidean reality, the world of highest level Ideas.
Epistemological meaning
Plato holds a very strict notion of knowledge. For example, he does not accept expertise about a subject, nor direct
perception (see Theaetetus), nor true belief about the physical world (the Meno) as knowledge. It is not enough for
the philosopher to understand the Ideas (Forms), he must also understand the relation of Ideas to all four levels of
the structure to be able to know anything at all.[12] For this reason, in most of the "earlier Socratic" dialogues,
Socrates denies knowledge both to himself and others.
For the first level, "the world of becoming and passing away," Plato expressly denies the possibility of knowledge.[13]
Constant change never stays the same, therefore, properties of objects must refer to different Ideas at different
times. Note that for knowledge to be possible, which Plato believed, the other three levels must be unchanging. The
third and fourth level, mathematics and Ideas, are already eternal and unchanging. However, to ensure that the
second level, the objective, physical world, is also unchanging, Plato, in the Republic, Book 4[14] introduces
empirically derived[15][16][17] axiomatic restrictions that prohibit both motion and shifting perspectives.[10][18]
See also
 The Form of the Good
 Allegorical interpretations of Plato
Notes
1.
 "divided line," The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, 2nd edition, Cambridge University Press, 1999,
ISBN 0-521-63722-8.
 Older Greek texts do not differentiate unequal from an equal (ανίσα, αν ίσα)
 Plato, The Republic, Book 6, translated by Benjamin Jowett, online Archived 18 April 2009 at the Wayback
Machine.
 Desmond Lee and Rachana Kamtekar, The Republic, Notes to Book 6, Penguin, 1987, ISBN 0-14-044914-0.
 Let the length of AE be equal to and that of AC equal to , where (following Socrates, however, ; insofar as
the equality of the lengths of BC and CD is concerned, the latter restriction is of no significance). The length
of CE is thus equal to . It follows that the length of BC must be equal to , which is seen to be equal to the
length of CD.
 Gail Fine, Knowledge and Belief in Republic V-VII, in G. Fine (ed.) Plato I (1990), also in S. Everson (ed.)
Cambridge Companions to Ancient Thought I: Epistemology (Cambridge University Press: New York, 1990),
pp. 85-115.
 Nicholas Denyer, Sun and line: the role of the Good, in G. R. F. Ferrari (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to
Plato's Republic (Cambridge University Press: New York, 2007), pp. 284–309.
 Republic 520c: "For once habituated ... you will know what each of the ‘idols’ is and whereof it is a
semblance, because you have seen the reality of the beautiful, the just and the good."
 Rachel G.K. Singpurwalla, Plato’s Defense of Justice in the Republic "justice is a virtue appropriate to both
cities and individuals, and the nature or form of justice is the same in both (Republic, 435a)."
 James Danaher, The Laws of Thought "The restrictions Plato places on the laws of thought (i.e., "in the same
respect," and "at the same time,") are an attempt to isolate the object of thought by removing it from all
other time but the present and all respects but one."
 Cratylus 439d-e "For if it is ever in the same state, then obviously at that time it is not changing (Plato's
realism); and if it is always in the same state and is always the same, how can it ever change or move without
relinquishing its own form (Aristotle's realism)"
 Republic 520c "For once habituated you will discern them infinitely better than the dwellers there, and you
will know what each of the ‘idols’ is and whereof it is a semblance, because you have seen the reality of the
beautiful, the just and the good."
 Cratylus 439d-e "How, then, can that which is never in the same state be anything? ... nor can it be known by
anyone."
 Republic 4.436b "It is obvious that the same thing will never do or suffer opposites in the same respect in
relation to the same thing and at the same time"
 Republic 4.437a "let us proceed on the hypothesis that this is so, with the understanding that, if it ever
appear otherwise, everything that results from the assumption shall be invalidated"
 Also see the Timaeus 29c on empirical "likelihood"
 It is interesting to note that modern logical analysis claims to prove that the potentially falsifiable "empirical
content of a theory is exactly captured by ... axiomatization ... that uses axioms which are universal negations
of conjunctions of atomic formulas" (C. Chambers, The Axiomatic Structure of Empirical Content) Archived 27
June 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
 Plato's Principle of Non-Contradiction (Republic, 4.436b) for the objective, physical world is presented with
three axiomatic restrictions: The same thing ... cannot act or be acted upon ... in contrary ways ... (1) in the
same part (2) in relation to the same thing (3) at the same time.