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Amid London’s knife crime epidemic, classical philosophy offers young people an alternative

For the young people I've worked with, who describe living "in a warzone", discussing philosophy isn't only an alternative to the restrictions of traditional learning. It empowers them to think critically about their own lives

By Ciaran Thapar  

To grapple with Plato’s ‘allegory of the cave’ we are expected to imagine a group of people who have been chained-up in a cave since childhood and forced to watch shadows cast on a wall in front of them. They are unaware, however, that the shadows are even shadows at all, shapes being deliberately manipulated by captors stood out of view, holding objects in front of a bright fire. But the shadows are all that the enchained know, and thus represent the full extent of their reality—one that is constructed, artificial,…

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