A Short Exchange On the Parable of the Cave and the Parable of the Blind Men and the Elephant


A: The Parable of the Cave helps me put a concrete explanation to how judgement of the ignorant is harmful and something to check myself with if I find myself doing that. 

B: I would like to hear more about what you have in mind with “harmful” judgements. I can see how presuming other people are ignorant is harmful to our own development because it deprives us of the possibility to learn how the issue looks from their standpoint. But I don’t think this is what you meant.

A: There are things that I will never know, never even begin to understand, and if I just remember that, I can hold space for those who disagree with me and grow from those disagreements.

B: In some way it captures what I take to be the essence of philosophy and critical thinking, which is not something that can be possessed but a way of relating to the world. In respect to the example that you used around the abortion issue: I’m curious how you imagine someone who disagrees with you sees the elephant, so to speak. Naturally, we don’t share the same elephant if we are not oriented to “the good,” or “the right thing to do.” For instance, to use your example, [not included in this excerpt] someone who supports access to abortion because they think it is murder and they hate people is not sharing the same elephant as you, I think, even if their position happens to resemble yours.

uscita dalla caverna | ~ gabriella giudici
Image credit: https://gabriellagiudici.it/uscita-dalla-caverna/

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