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Does Maimonides ever refer to the Allegory of the Cave from Plato's The Republic?

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Why would you think he does? I do know he mentions a cave in a different context that is when the society around you is extremely immoral he says you should go live in a cave –  SimchasTorah Apr 21 '11 at 23:30
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1 Answer 1

The Rambam (Maimonides) writes in The Guide for the Perplexed Part II Chapter VI:

I wonder at the expression "contemplating", which is the very expression used by Plato. God, as it were, "contemplates the world of ideals, and thus produces the existing beings."

To me this sounds like the same idea expressed in the Allegory only from a different perspective. Looking at footnotes to this passage may lead you to find a direct reference if such exists.

B'Hatzlacha

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How is this the same idea as the Allegory? –  Ze'ev haKohen Apr 24 '11 at 17:24
    
From my limited understanding of both sources there seems to be a connection. This is a quote from Wikipedia: "The Allegory is related to Plato's Theory of Forms, according to which the "Forms" (or "Ideas"), and not the material world of change known to us through sensation, possess the highest and most fundamental kind of reality. Only knowledge of the Forms constitutes real knowledge". This is the same idea the Rambam seems to be referring to in his discussion of angels from which I brought the above quote. –  David Perlman Apr 25 '11 at 21:27
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