5. But, as stated, what the more true and the more beingful is, has not yet been settled. On the contrary, judgements and estimations run counter to one another. Why is this so? What kind of standard does the prisoner employ in wanting to return to the shadows and in claiming them as the more unhidden? There in the cave, turned to the shadows, he has no inkling of what will happen when he must see in the light; he has no pain in his eyes, and above all, there amidst the shadows he moves within that which, ἃ δύναται, he is capable of, which demands no great effort of him, and happens of its own accord so to speak. There amidst the shadows, in his shackles, he finds his familiar ground, where no exertion is required, where he is unhindered, where nothing recoils upon him, where there is no confusion, and where everyone is in agreement. The main standard for his estimation of higher or lower unhiddenness is preservation of the undisturbedness of his ordinary activities, without being set out to any kind of reflection, demand, or command.

6. On the other hand, what does turning around to the things themselves require? Release from the shackles; but this is only the beginning of emancipation. What is supposed to eventuate is a turning around to the light. This liberation fails; it does not come to fulfilment. Proof: he who has been unshackled wants to go back to his former situation! For what reason? Why does this attempted liberation fail?

7. Since the unshackling, the standing up, the turning around, the looking into the light, all happen suddenly (ἐξαίφνης), this freeing (λύσις) cannot become an ἴασις τῆς ἀφροσύνης, a healing from delusion. ἀφροσύνη, which is how Plato describes the situation of the prisoners, is the counter-concept to φρόνησις, σωφροσύνη. φρόνησις is Plato's word for knowledge in general, i.e. for grasping the true, for circumspection and insight in relation to world and self, the unity of both. I emphasize this because with Aristotle the concept of φρόνησις is developed quite differently, and in particular is narrowed down. Where φρόνησις is lacking, where everything, world and self, is shadow-like, there is no relationship to the genuinely true and unhidden. ἀφροσύνη is the absence of circumspection and insight, where man is in every respect removed from truth, where he has no familiarity with the world and no insight into himself. There, man is lacking something. He is sick, and healing is necessary. But healing presupposes the correct diagnosis of the illness. This does not occur through release from the shackles. The released prisoner does not recognize what he previously saw as shadows. Instead, he is simply removed from what he formerly saw and placed before things glimmering



Martin Heidegger (GA 34) The Essence of Truth