Plato_Matrix_Essay - Tsan 1 Annie Tsan Polisci 171H...

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Tsan 1Annie TsanPolisci 171H: Introduction to Political TheoryOctober 3, 2019Is This the Real Life or Is This Just Fantasy: Plato and the Wachowski's Discernment of Appearances vs. RealityHave you ever woken up from a dream, dazed and confused because it seemed so real that you did think it was reality for the brief moment you were asleep? Well, consider not being able to discern what is and isn’t real. How do you tell apart what is reality and what only looks like reality? Plato’s Socratic dialogue, The Republic, and the 1999 film The Matrix challenge their audiences to reevaluate their assumptions about reality and offers up a compelling argument: What is perceived as reality only appears to be that way as appearances and reality arenearly indistinguishable from one another.Plato’s distinction between appearances and reality is based on the Theory of Forms. Reality takes the form of concepts and ideas, or eidos, and as Socrates explains, “...each of them is itself one thing, but because they appear all over the place in partnership with actions and bodies, and with one another, each of them appears to be many things” (476a). The forms are intelligible, but not visible. Socrates explains the spectrum of the visible and intelligible in the form of an uneven line. The visible is represented by imagery of the “likeness” of objects, such as shadows, and the objects of that imagery, such as animals (509e-510a). The intelligible also has two sides: one based off of investigation using the imagery and likeness of things, and the
Tsan 2other side of perception is based on the forms without hypothetical imagery (510b). Only “philosophers”, or those who can see the forms in and by themselves, are able to utilize the latter part of the intelligible. In debating the meaning of justice and injustice, Socrates and his friends are simply arguing back and forth until Scorates realizes, "If we should watch a city coming into being in speech... would we also see its justice coming into being, and its injustice?" (369a).

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