The Matrix and philosophical issues

The Matrix and philosophical issues Essay example
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Philosophy
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[student’s name] [professor’s name] [course] [date of submission] The Matrix: An Analysis How do you know what you know? How do you know what you know is real? Underneath the computer generated images, death-defying stunts and the wide audience acceptance of The Matrix trilogy is a philosophical world waiting to be explored…

Introduction

At the heart of The Matrix is that of skepticism, of concerns regarding the very nature of reality, and of whether we know anything to be real at all. Just a few minutes after the movie opens, Neo says, “you ever have that feeling where you're not sure if you're awake or still dreaming?” (A. Wachowski and L. Wachowski) like a foretelling of things to come. The Matrix plays out an old philosophical tale of a brain in a vat: A disembodied brain is floating in a vat, inside a scientist's laboratory. The scientist has arranged that the brain will be stimulated with the same sort of inputs that a normal embodied brain receives. To do this, the brain is connected to a giant computer simulation of a world. The simulation determines which inputs the brain receives. When the brain produces outputs, these are fed back into the simulation. The internal state of the brain is just like that of a normal brain, despite the fact that it lacks a body. From the brain's point of view, things seem very much as they seem to you and me. (Chalmers 135) The Matrix stars Keanu Reeves as Neo, a program writer by day, and a hacker by night. By hacking he thinks he is exercising his individuality, his free will. When asked if he believes in fate, Neo answers, “No… Because I don't like the idea that I'm not in control of my life” (A. Wachowski and L. ...
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