In the 4th century BCE, the ancient Greek philosopher Plato wrote his best-known dialogue, The Republic. Plato describes people shackled facing a bare cave wall (depicted in an image found in the article) unable to perceive anything happening behind them. In that imperceptible space is a fire with unencumbered puppeteers staging a shadow puppet show for the prisoners. Seeing only the shadows, the prisoners understand reality solely as the show portrayed on the cave wall. Entirely unaware of a world outside the cave, the prisoners’ knowledge of objective reality is incomplete and thus fundamentally flawed. The prisoners, however, have no way of recognizing such a shortcoming in their own rational capacity.
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