Do you distinguish between adaptation and evolution? If a dog adapts to its surroundings, it doesn’t evolve. It is still the same dog changing its form in relation to its environment. A blind cave fish living in darkness is just a tetra that lost its eyes since it had no need for them. It has adapted to its surroundings It is still a tetra.It strikes me that your use of Plato’s Cave as part of an explanation contradicts many of the ideas you are trying to employ. The individual who leaves the cave does not suddenly become a philosopher. He (we are in ancient Greece) has had his horizons limited and has had, therefore, to make whatever sense he can of the extremely limited information available to him. His ideas are bound to be speculative because he has no way of confirming them. When he leaves the cave he is suddenly swamped by new information, which he slowly assimilates. In doing so, he begins to change his interpretation of the world. He starts to reject some speculations and to run with others. If he returns to the others in the cave, he brings new observations which they may or may not accept. The point about all this is that, with new observations come new interpretations. As available knowledge increases, so the interpretations can become more precise and sophisticated. Yet we will never have access to complete, universal knowledge, so an element of doubt must, philosophically, remain. We are always, to some extent, ‘in a cave’.
If a person acquires more and more knowledge and interprets it into social goals, nothing has evolved. The person has adapted.
Evolution refers to the change of being. A reptile reflects one level of being and a mammal another. For example if a reptile becomes a mammal, then it has evolved. Plato is referring to Man’s conscious evolution rather than adapting to society as it is through more knowledge. The more highly evolved people are, the quality of their being, the more society will reflect the pursuit of the human potential for conscious evolution. Modern education is fixated on acquiring more and more knowledge. How many even know what it means to develop ones being any more much less be involved in the education of ones being? Adaptation is the goal for a given society sustaining itself. Evolution is the goal of a person desiring to become truly human