character on someone and guiding someone by a paradigm. The contrary of παιδεία is ἀπαιδευσία, lack of formation, where no fundamental bearing is awakened and unfolded, and where no normative proto-type is put forth.

The "allegory of the cave" concentrates its explanatory power on making us able to see and know the essence of 1ta􀀄oda by means of the concrete images recounted in the story. At the same time Plato seeks to avoid false interpretations; he wants to show that the essence of παιδεία does not consist in merely pouring knowledge into the unprepared soul as if it were some container held out empty and waiting. On the contrary real education lays hold of the soul itself and transforms it in its entirety by first of all leading us to the place of our essential being and accustoming us to it. That the "allegory of the cave" is meant to illustrate the essence of 1ta􀀄oda is stated clearly enough in the very sentence with which Plato introduces the story at the beginning of Book Seven: Μετὰ ταῦτα δή, εἶπον, ἀπείκασον τοιούτῳ πάθει τὴν ἡμετέραν φύσιν παιδείας τε πέρι καὶ ἀπαιδευσίας. "And after that, try to conjure up for yourself from the kind of experience (to be presented in the following story) a view (of the essence) both of 'education' and of the lack of education, [124 {GA 9: 218}] both of which (as belonging together) concern the very foundation of our being as humans."

Plato's assertion is clear: The "allegory of the cave" illustrates the essence of "education." By contrast, the interpretation of the "allegory" that we are now going to attempt means to point out the Platonic "doctrine" of truth. Are we not then burdening the "allegory" with something foreign to it? The interpretation threatens to degenerate into a reinterpretation that does violence to the text. Let this appearance stand until we have confirmed our insight that Plato's thinking subjects itself to a transformation in the essence of truth that becomes the hidden law governing what the thinker says. According to our interpretation, which is made necessary from out of a future need, the "allegory" not only illustrates the essence of education but at the same time opens our eyes to a transformation in the essence of "truth." If the "allegory" can show both, must it not be the case that an essential relation holds between "education" and "truth"? This relation does, in fact, obtain. And it consists in the fact that the essence of truth and the sort of transformation it undergoes here first make possible "education" in its basic structures.

But what is it that links "education" and "truth" together into an original and essential unity?

Παιδεία means turning around the whole human being. It means removing human beings from the region where they first encounter things and transferring and accustoming them to another realm where beings appear.


Martin Heidegger (GA 9) Plato's Doctrine of Truth - Pathmarks