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Copy of The Allegory of the Cave

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by

Kate Polak

on 1 September 2015

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Transcript of Copy of The Allegory of the Cave

How we know what to say
The Cave
The Muller-Lyer Illusion
Position
Allegory
Forms of Literacy
Literacy
Position and Literacy
Foregrounding Position
Perception and cognition influence how we acquire knowledge
We are culturally primed to perceive the world in specific ways.
Exposure to certain types of visual fields alters perception

From the Latin allegoria (metaphorical language), the OED defines "allegory" as "the use of symbols in a story, picture, etc. to convey a hidden or ulterior meaning, typically a moral or political one."
What Plato is partly describing is the ability to look at the world and discern the symbols, ideas, and objects therein for what they are, rather than merely the shadows they cast.

This is our foundation for the idea of literacy, which the OED defines as "the quality, condition, or state of being literate; the ability to read and write" but also as "the ability to 'read' a specified medium; competence or knowledge in a particular area."
Traditional Literacy
Media Literacy
Computer/Technological Literacy
Informational Literacy
Social Literacy
Cultural Literacy
Scientific Literacy
Numeracy
Global Literacy
Visual Literacy
The Allegory of the Cave uses the symbols of the cave and imprisonment to represent how we cannot trust our senses to give us "justified true beliefs."
The Cave
Implications
Which line is longer?
What do you see in this painting, swans or elephants?
The Allegory of the Cave is also meant to show the difficulties inherent in with epistemology and literacy.
The prisoners come to knowledge only through a struggle, and initially reject the knowledge offered.
The position of the individual profoundly influences Plato's allegory.
One's position influences what *can* be known and *how* it is known.
We gain different types of knowledge depending on our focus, but developing a broader understanding is a process of aggregating various types of literacy and knowledge to gain a more comprehensive picture.
Using the concept of discovery, I want us to link literacy and position.
Demographic Details
Age
Sex (biological )
Gender (specific "masculine" or "feminine" attributes)
Ethnicity (may include ancestors' national and/or ethnic origin, and how big of a role identification with your ancestry plays in your life)
Race (also referred to as "phenotype" in contemporary discussions)
Socioeconomic class (many will say "middle class," but describe the hallmarks of that in your house)
The list that will eventually become your Identity Map influences how you become literate in various areas, in what areas you are literate, and how you understand the knowledge you gain.
Family and Community Relationships
Family Make-Up (Two parent household, Single parent household, Joint Custody; Siblings; Extended family involvement)
Household values (just name three major ideals that stick out in your family)
Educational Background (public, private, or home schooling; level of preparation for college)
Religious Background (sect, regular or irregular church attendance, involvement with community)
Other forms of community involvement (volunteerism, organized athletics, etc.)
Literacy and Perspective
Always think of literacy and perspective as mutually constitutive--that is, they modify one another
Perspective is created through the literacies to which you're exposed
Literacy is produced in the context of specific perspectives
Full transcript