Indeed, is the unity of this interconnection, that which holds everything together, nothing else but ἀληθές, unhiddenness?

But before we put this question, let us place ourselves once again in the situation of the prisoners, which basically is not difficult to do. If we restrict ourselves to the first stage, submitting to it so to speak, we see no such interconnection, indeed we do not even recognize the enumerated individual moments; instead, caught up in our misapprehension, we see only what is played off on the wall. The latter is, as it were, the whole world. The condition of misapprehension is indicated by the fact that the prisoners, in their situation, could not describe what we are now able to see. Indeed, the prisoners do not even know that they are in a 'situation'. When questioned, they always talk about shadows, which, however, they do not know as shadows. They know their way around their own proper abode, and are not to be dissuaded from what they recognize straightforwardly as beings. They would regard any such presumption as perverse. But what they take as beings is still called (this cannot be said too often) τὸ ἀληθές, and there is nothing here about resemblance, correctness, or correspondence.

B. The Second Stage (515 c 4-515 e 5):
a 'Liberation' of Man within the Cave

σκόπει δή, ἦν δ᾽ ἐγώ, αὐτῶν λύσιν τε καὶ ἴασιν τῶν τε δεσμῶν καὶ τῆς ἀφροσύνης, οἵα τις ἂν εἴη, εἰ φύσει τοιάδε συμβαίνοι αὐτοῖς: ὁπότε τις λυθείη καὶ ἀναγκάζοιτο ἐξαίφνης ἀνίστασθαί τε καὶ περιάγειν τὸν αὐχένα καὶ βαδίζειν καὶ πρὸς τὸ φῶς ἀναβλέπειν, πάντα δὲ ταῦτα ποιῶν ἀλγοῖ τε καὶ διὰ τὰς μαρμαρυγὰς ἀδυνατοῖ καθορᾶν ἐκεῖνα ὧν τότε τὰς σκιὰς ἑώρα, τί ἂν οἴει αὐτὸν εἰπεῖν, εἴ τις αὐτῷ λέγοι ὅτι τότε μὲν ἑώρα φλυαρίας, νῦν δὲ μᾶλλόν τι ἐγγυτέρω τοῦ ὄντος καὶ πρὸς μᾶλλον ὄντα τετραμμένος ὀρθότερον βλέποι, καὶ δὴ καὶ ἕκαστον τῶν παριόντων δεικνὺς αὐτῷ ἀναγκάζοι ἐρωτῶν ἀποκρίνεσθαι ὅτι ἔστιν; οὐκ οἴει αὐτὸν ἀπορεῖν τε ἂν καὶ ἡγεῖσθαι τὰ τότε ὁρώμενα ἀληθέστερα ἢ τὰ νῦν δεικνύμενα;

πολύ γ᾽, ἔφη.

οὐκοῦν κἂν εἰ πρὸς αὐτὸ τὸ φῶς ἀναγκάζοι αὐτὸν βλέπειν, ἀλγεῖν τε ἂν τὰ ὄμματα καὶ φεύγειν ἀποστρεφόμενον πρὸς ἐκεῖνα ἃ δύναται καθορᾶν, καὶ νομίζειν ταῦτα τῷ ὄντι σαφέστερα τῶν δεικνυμένων;

οὕτως, ἔφη.

'Now imagine what would happen if the prisoners were released from their



Martin Heidegger (GA 34) The Essence of Truth