Decartes And The Matrix Essay

1402 words - 6 pages

Descartes and MatrixMatrix is an interesting movie because it examines very basic questions of philosophy. The existence of human being, the reality of this world we live and the questions of the reliability of human mind are examined during the movie. When examined deeply, it is found that the philosophy of Matrix has very common features with the philosophy of Descartes. The dream metaphor, the deception of people by a 'malignant demon', the reliability of certain physical truths, and split of mind and body are the most significant ones. But there are also some significant differences, since the possibility of dreaming is remained as a 'possibility' for Descartes whereas in the movie it is realized. Moreover, the existence of God is another big difference since Descartes is a strong believer but movie ignores the existence of God.In the movie Matrix, before Neo discovers the reality, Morpheus asks Neo "Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real?" and he continues, "What if you were unable to wake from that dream, Neo? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?" In the movie, the dream, which Neo woke, was his own life. He could not sense that the world in which he is living is just a dream. The whole story of the movie is started up by the wake-up of Neo and some other people from their dreams, namely the Matrix. The most surprising similarity between the Matrix and the philosophy of Descartes is the 'dream metaphor'. Descartes, similarly, asserts that we might be in a dream in which, even if we realize that we are dreaming we could not wake up. Descartes started to build his argument by giving examples of real life such as "How often, asleep at night, am I convinced of just such familiar events - that I am here in my dressing gown, sitting by the fire - when in fact I am lying undressed in bed (75)". The objects in our dreams are same as the real objects we touch, see and feel. Then, Descartes asks that if we cannot be aware that we are dreaming in our dreams how can we be sure that we are not dreaming every time.Descartes discusses that the reality around us might be the creation of a 'malignant demon'. He says, "Some malignant demon, who is at once exceedingly potent and deceitful, has employed all his artifice to deceive me (78)". He argues that the earth, sky, figures, colors might be the 'illusions of dreams'. Similarly, Matrix was created by malevolent robotics, which are aiming to benefit from humans as batteries. They connected people's mind to a program, Matrix, in which all the objects, colors and figures are just 'virtual'. The creators of the Matrix are, like Descartes' malignant demon, deceiving people by illusions of dreams. The people in the Matrix believe that the materials and the events in the Matrix are just 'virtual' things, not real. People, who are connected to the Matrix, dream that they are living in the Matrix, but they are actually living in another place, which...

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