... in the sense of Socrates and Plato, as one engaged in a passionate search for truth, enlightenment, and understanding, particularly about justice and human good. Rulers are unlikely to have much interest in such a search, and few would find the results comforting. Nor can philosophers in Plato's sense have much desire to rule, for ruling would impede their search for truth, as they well know. Plato himself knew this. Hence some scholars have argued that The Republic must be ironic: Plato means for us to understand why the fictitious republic he portrays is impossible. However that may be, in his famous metaphor of the cave he tells us that one who leaves that cave, with its images flickering on the wall from the light of a distant fire, and sees what is real and true under the full light of the sun will be reluctant to return to the cave. Yet the world of politics is in the cave, where truth is never wholly accessible.