Title: "Drawing the Cave and Teaching the Divided Line", Teaching Philosophy, 13/4, 1990, 373-377.
Author: Jonathan Schonsheck
Date: March 2002
Reviewer: John Sellars
 Jeffry Gold has argued [in Teaching Philosophy 11 (1988)] that a good way to introduce students to philosophy is via Plato's cave allegory. The present author proposes a slightly different way to draw the cave, one that will make the connections with Plato's divided line more immediately clear. Previous drawings of Plato's cave only represent the interior. Instead, both the interior and exterior should be included, and these should be arranged horizontally so that the divided line may be included underneath.  The author's drawing includes not only an object in the cave lit by a fire and the resulting shadow, but also a corresponding arrangement outside the cave, namely a tree lit by the sun and its reflection in a pool of water. [...]
The author's own diagram and his brief survey of previous attempts to illustrate the cave and divided line may be of interest to those teaching the Republic. He does not appear to propose that students attempt to draw these themselves (thankfully), simply suggesting that a diagram on the board may be helpful when working through these parts of the text.
But to what extent is Plato's cave useful in a more general introduction to philosophy? The author writes that:
In general, 'philosophical freshmen' are uncritical empiricists: not unlike the prisoners in the Cave, they believe that reality is co-extensive with that which can be sensed. Getting them to entertain the possibility of a non-sensible realm can be a challenge. 
So, the cave allegory may help to provoke na´ve empiricists. But the general picture that emerges from the pages of Teaching Philosophy is that the typical (American) student already places far too much faith on the existence of non-sensible entities (i.e. God). Indeed, the challenge facing the typical philosophy teacher (in America) appears to be to get one's students to question their religious beliefs, being especially careful not to insult or offend. Consequently, although the author's diagram is a spirited attempt at artistic representation of a philosophical idea, I doubt it has much applicability beyond courses devoted to the Republic. (It would be interesting to hear reports concerning typical British student attitudes towards the existence or non-existence of non-sensible objects. Some form of survey of common presuppositions held by new philosophy students may be useful when exploring and assessing various pedagogic techniques.)
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