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Philosophy: The matrix. The main idea that is explored in the article by Gracia and Sanford (2002) is the search that the character Neo undertakes in the film The Matrix to find out about the meaning of existence. The whole world inside the matrix is likened to the dark cave in Plato’s writings and the real world outside is likened to the real world which the people sitting in the cave can only dimly conceive of…
Everybody finds it more comfortable to sit inside his or her own comfort zone, enjoying things that appear to be real and reliable because we have so much practice in thinking of the world in fixed and familiar terms. Gracia and Sanford ask the basic questions “What is a person? What is the relation between mind and body? What is the connection between free will and fate?” (p. 56) and lead into a discussion about appearance and reality. It is explained that this kind of question lies at the heart of metaphysics, and that the article deals not just with the actual film of the Matrix, but the whole world in which it takes place. One of the interesting contributions that the article makes is to map ancient metaphysical concepts onto modern vocabulary, so that for example the appearance/reality dichotomy that Plato uses becomes now a virtual/real dichotomy. (p. 60) The real and the virtual have different causes and exist in different ways. Neo, with his reason and his feelings, crosses over from the one dimension to the other and so spans the dualism of the film’s world. The gap between mind and body is narrowed when Neo and the others slip in and out of virtual and real worlds. ...
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