matrix paper - Wood 1 Lindsay Wood History Western...

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Wood 1 Lindsay Wood History Western Philosophy II: Phil-102-52 Prof. Borradori The Matrix and Descartes, Paper 1 Is it All a Dream? Descartes and The Matrix Although Cartesian Dualism has become an extremely controversial, and repeatedly disputed, view in modern philosophy, the legacy of Descartes has impacted countless subsequent philosophical and artistic works. The 1999 Wachowski brothers movie, The Matrix , is born out of this Cartesian tradition. Just as Descartes uses his Meditations to deconstruct what he had originally taken to be unquestionable reality, the protagonist the The Matrix , Neo, initially takes life for granted and then discovers and grapples with Cartesian questions. At the onset of Descartes’ Meditations , Descartes questions reality based on its similarity to the dream state and the impossibility of differentiating between the two. Neo also experiences dreams he confuses with reality and even verbally calls into describes the phenomenon of feeling as though he were unsure if he were awake or asleep. Neo is later told by certain “enlightened” others that what he accepts as reality is rather an elaborate illusion created by machines in order to pacify human beings while using them as energy. With this new knowledge, Neo comes to understand that his experience of reality in the past consisted only of electrical signals fed to him by machines, by which he determines his senses were not trustworthy indicators of reality, as they were easily tricked into accepting an entirely false experience. Descartes also suggests this possibility, that our senses are deceived by a “malicious demon” who creates an illusory reality
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matrix paper - Wood 1 Lindsay Wood History Western...

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