shackles and cured of their delusions. Consider what would necessarily happen if the following were to occur. Suppose one of them were unshackled and compelled to suddenly stand up, turn his head, and look and walk towards the light; but all this would be painful, and because of the flickering brightness he would be too dazzled to see properly the things whose shadows he used to see. What do you think he would say if he were told that what he used to see was so much empty nonsense, and that he was now nearer to beings and turned towards more beingful beings, so seeing more correctly? And if he were compelled to say what each of the passing objects was [τί ἑστιν] when it was shown to him? Don't you think he would be at a loss, and think that what he used to see was more unhidden than what was now being shown to him?'


'And if he were made to look directly into the light, would this not hurt his eyes, and would he not turn back and retreat to the things which he had the power to see, thinking that these [the shadows] were in fact clearer [more visible] than the things now being shown to him?'


§ 4. New Features of ἀλήθεια Revealed by the Unsuccessful Attempt at Liberation

In the second stage something happens to one of the prisoners: his shackles are removed. What does this lead to, i.e. what necessarily belongs to it? Plato emphasizes specifically: οἵα τις εἴη φύσει, 'what thereby [with this unshackling] necessarily occurs'. What Plato wants to bring to light is the φύσις of man. As with the first stage, he says again at the end of the second stage: ἡγεῖσθαι αὐτὸν τὰ τότε ὁρώμενα ἀληθέστερα ἢ τὰ νῦν δεικνύμενα;, the unshackled prisoner 'would hold what he formerly saw [the shadows] to be more unhidden than the things now being shown to him [the things in the light itself]'. Once again this is clearly all about ἀληθές.

In the second stage, therefore, something happens which has to do with unhiddenness. We saw in the first stage that ἀληθές comes forth together with other elements of the situation, but we did not grasp their interconnections. But now, when something happens with ἀληθές, when this itself comes to life, it must become clear if and how, with this event, its connections also change, i.e. these connections must themselves emerge. In respect of the second stage we therefore ask whether the connections between the (previously only listed) elements, which presumably belong