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The Fox And The Grapes

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Philosophy
Wordcount: 1472 words Published: 24th Apr 2017

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A fox on its countryside stroll rests for a picnic under a tree intertwined with grape fruits and crow tries stealing his food without success. The crow discovers that foxes love grapes and offers to give them to him on the condition that he surrenders his picnic lunch (White & Rojo, p. 1911). The fox ponders and thinks that he can get the grapes himself. He tries to the best level, but fails and sustains pains in the process. Finally, he surrenders his picnic lunch and the crow calls his a sucker. The fox finally gets the grapes only to be disappointed that they were sour grapes.

Analysis of the story

The fox does not want to surrender his meal easily, and although he is interested in the grapes, he tries to reach them by himself. After failing, he dismisses them claiming that they were not what he really wanted. The story is ethical underling the daily life of man. The eager to earn or attain something important makes him to be creative and come up with different ways of reaching the goals. However, failing each time makes them to give up and dismiss the issue with an assumption that it was not important. The story provides a case of adaptive preferences, which falls under the social theory because of the important incident of utilitarianism. The decision theorists have given various arguments on the question of preference changes, majorly in terms of logic. The tenacity of the story bears the moral view that the desires of the people changes with the changes in their whims, which negates the fact that it should be a matter of social choice.

The story provides two choices in the sphere of choice and preferences: the first one is being the act of trying (without success), and the second one being the act of walking away in frustration, but providing a defensive excuse.

The story also provides an appropriate stage for the analysis of attitude, their development, their role on decision making and acting, and their changes in classical situations. Rationalization on the basis of possibility becomes the basis of reasoning when one faces a choice among several alternatives. The consequences of the options that are available under the influence of the facts about the options at hand determine the direction of rationalization towards coming to the conclusion about the action. This makes the story tenable among the other stories. For instance, the fox considers several options for reaching the grapes by himself, which he fails before dismissing them as sour (Vicki, 1).

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The frustrations about the world inculcate several views about the world in man. The choices of actions are determined by the available options and the consequences of each action, as expressed in the story of the sour grapes. The fox has options, but considers trying to reach the grapes before easily handing in his lunch to the crow for assistance. Nevertheless, the fox ends up losing; hence, making it obvious that not all options taken end up positively.

In the real world, the changes in the utility expectations may occur majorly for two reasons in the choice of actions. The first reason for utility change is the change in the player’s belief about the world. This is the case of the fox and the sour grapes. Having tried his level best without success to get the grapes, the fox changes his view about the grapes, signifying a change in the view of the world; hence leading to a change in the belief about the preference.

The second possible reason for a utility change may be because of the expected consequence of the change in the utility. The sour grapes’ story becomes the center of a debate in the utilitarianism theory of choice and preferences. The story illustrates that it is not just about the belief change but also a change in the utility choice. The utilities of the members of the society may not be stable, but the theory of utilitarianism relies upon the social utilities; hence, the theory is weakened if the utilities are unstable. This viewpoint challenges the tenacity of the story in a way that the utilities change and determine the actions, rather than the changes in the beliefs as the case of the fox and his beliefs about the grapes.

Parable of the cave

This story presents a metaphor of knowledge and ignorance. Plato was ardent about knowledge, and in the story, he gives the reader a vivid imagination of the prisoners who could only see shadows on the wall. The prisoners did not know anything since they had seen nothing; hence, they thought it was real. This presents ignorance prevailing at the expense of knowledge.

Plato assumes that the ignorant perception of knowledge among the prisoners may cause the brain to move to a higher level of reasoning because the prisoners had no perception of right or wrong, and true and false.

The writer, Plato, aims at depiction of not only ways of thinking, but also on the different ways of living. Derlin (46) writes that the understanding of a life concept, for instance, courage, may differ in each stage of living. Interpretation of different aspects of life in the imagination stage of life may only accrue to the person’s notion of the images from a cultural point of view. Imagination leads to formation of perceptions, which guide individual’s perceptions of situations. This does not depend on the available knowledge, rather on the formation of images from the cultural perspective.

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The story, therefore, bases on the stage of thought and definition of concepts in life, especially the concept of courage, for instance, Socrates defines it as the awareness of something that should be feared and what should not be feared (Biffle 76). However, an individual speaking or offering the definition from thought rather than reality is the fact that the person may not offer information to the viewers about the form of the concept under definition. Therefore, knowledge is undermined because a definition that does not offer the form of the good does not illuminate the understanding; hence revealing the satirical and metaphoric aspect of the story.

In conclusion, the two stories outline human perceptions in terms of knowledge, attitudes and ignorance. The first story provides the ground for understanding human attitude changes and the underlying circumstances while the second story provides an illustration regarding knowledge and ignorance that are founded on perceptions of images. The story revolves around the ignorant prisoners in a cave having only been exposed to shadows and perceiving them as real. The images lead to perceptions of what they had not seen, but imagined; hence guided by ignorance. The other story, the sour grapes informs of the changes in attitudes basing on the consequences of the actions that the fox undertakes.

According to the fox, the utility of the grapes became irrelevant after the unsuccessful attempts to reach them. This implies that the preferences and choices of actions in life depends on the perceptions of the consequences and the success of the attempts. It also applies to the story of the parable of the cave where the perceptions are only dependent on the extent to which the imaginations play trick in the minds of the prisoners. This implies that the perceptions of thoughts are influenced majorly by the images formed; which eventually influences ignorance and eludes it for knowledge. Knowledge is created dependent of the perceptions of the images presented to the mind. According to Plato, the mind creates its perceptions depending on what is presented to it is all situations.

The two texts border on human perceptions in terms of utility, preferences, perceptions and attitudes. The sour grapes takes a look at perceptions and utility and their effects of preferences, while the parable of the cave centers on perceptions and their effects on knowledge and ignorance.

Work cited

Biffle, Christopher. “The Allegory of the Cave.” A guided tour of five works by Plato: with complete translations of Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Phaedo (The death scene), and “Allegory of the Cave”. 3rd ed. Mountain View, Calif.: Mayfield Pub. Co., 2001. 76. Print.

Sauter, Vicki L. “Systems Analysis Fables.” University of Missouri-St. Louis. Version 1. UM-St. Louis, 12 Mar. 2004. Web. 6 May 2013. .

Taylor, Derlin. “The Parable of the Cave.” Parable of the cave. S.l.: Iuniverse Inc., 2009. 46. Print.

White, Mark, and Sara Rojo. “The Fox and the Grapes.” The fox and the grapes: a retelling of Aesop’s fable. Minneapolis, MN: Picture Window Books, 2004. 1909-1914. Print.


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