The Allegory of the Cave

Constantine Ragas, of Fasken LLP, recently reminded me of Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave,” which bears reference to the articles in this issue that consider the future. A recap of the Allegory, by Michael John M. Tamayao:

“One of the most powerful and influential passages ever written in Western philosophy is Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. It ingeniously pictures the metaphysical and epistemological situation of [humans] in a charmingly metaphorical way. As a metaphysical account, the allegory of the cave is a symbolic depiction of how [humans are] trapped in his everyday illusionary material existence, and how [they] can free [themselves] from this trap through the philosophical dispositions of deep personal and social awareness and constant self-examination. As an epistemological account, it tries to establish the importance of Ideas, which we apprehend only through reason, over mere opinions, which are derived from our fleeting experience of the physical world.”

As applied to the Canadian legal scene, can we really perceive what is going on, and going wrong, in the system if we are looking at shadows not directly experiencing it? Clients live and work outside ‘the cave.’ For their sakes, let’s stop shadow-boxing and take a good hard look at reality.