Home Concepts Organizational Theory Professional Coaching, Plato’s Cave and the Sociology of Knowledge

Professional Coaching, Plato’s Cave and the Sociology of Knowledge

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An initial question might be posed given these changes: can professional coaches assist their clients in facing these challenges to objectivism? Can coaches help their clients sort through the multiple narratives and deal with the disintermediation of images they are receiving? How might a professional coach assist the Executive Director of St. Vincent De Paul? Can Plato’s cave and his dynamic objectivism provide us with the opportunity to gain insights in a coaching session about the nature of the cave? What about the world that is projected onto the walls of the cave, and the nature and agenda of the interpreters?

We should also consider whether or not to step outside the cave. Can we actually leave the cave? How does the coach assist us in this challenging endeavour? Is it safer to remain inside the cave then to venture outside without the help of interpreters? Should we (and can we) face the profound challenge of unmediated experiences? Is a coach truly being helpful if she invites us to leave the cave? Should a coach help her clients recognize ways in which they still carry the cave shadows and cave interpreters with them when stepping outside the cave? As we step outside the cave, are we likely to confront some objective reality through our experience, or is the experience itself constantly shifting depending on setting, context, interpersonal relationships and the nature of our own past experience? Are we just moving to another cave?

Imprisonment In the Cave: An Expanded Version

The sociology of knowledge pushes us to an even more challenging perspective. The allegory offered by Socrates (through the voice of Plato) is actually much more extensive than the version we just offered in this essay. Plato provides us with more detail about life inside the cave and about what might occur if one cave dweller is allowed to step outside the cave and then returns to the cave. Profound implications regarding the sociology of knowledge emerge from this expanded version–and further questions arise about the role to be played by a professional coach in addressing these implications with their client.

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