This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Matrix And Descartes Essay

1378 words - 6 pages

1
The Matrix and Descartes
APUS PHIL 101
Professor Cynthia Lindenmeyer
Michelle Black
October 19, 2012

2
The Matrix and Descartes
The "collective hallucination" portrayed in the trilogy, 'The Matrix' by Larry and Andy
Wachowski, explores an array of philosophical concepts. Particularly prevalent questions
that are raised throughout the films include: "What is real?" and "How can I know (or arrive
at) the truth?" This paper will focus on concepts illustrated during part one of the trilogy
while examining their relationship to theories presented by the french philosopher, Rene
Descartes. Both Descartes and the film approach such questions by suggesting that the
senses can be deceitful, that it is possible to trust the mind through reasoning, and that the
attainment of wisdom is sufficient for overcoming illusions.
The Matrix clearly explores Descartes' concept that the senses and perceptions are
deceitful. Descartes subscribed to the view that our senses "provide only very obscure and
confused information" and that "judgments shall contain error" (Meditation VI). This view
derives from the fact that our perceptions are subjective; that is, an individual will uniquely
interpret his or her understanding of a given person, thing, or situation. Again, to approach
the question "what is real?" consider that "in neurobiological terms, "reality" is little more
than a representational model of the world, a construct generated by multiple neural circuits
acting in parallel. This model is based on sensory experiences received by the brain via
the senses, which can detect only the narrowest range of stimuli," (Costandi, 2006).
Therefore, the senses will react to something and then the mind follows up by examining
what is seen. Even after the articulation of one's own ideas, it is impossible to be fully
understood by another individual. The senses can be deceitful whether an interpretation

3
evokes doubt or belief toward the same variable. It is possible to believe that feelings of
love are true only to have the feelings (aimed at that same person) disintegrate in the
future, leaving one to doubt that those initial feelings of love were ever there to begin with.
The doubt created from such circumstances would manifest and could, in the future, inhibit
the belief in new feelings of love based on the experience of loss. One of the first scenes
where Neo's sense of perception was tested, Morpheus gave him the option of escaping a
situation that placed him in danger. Morpheus suggested that he could either conceal his
presence by climbing out onto the scaffolding of a skyscraper in order to evade the men
coming after him. or exit through the main doors and risk being taken into custody. When
Neo doubted that he could safely climb out the window and onto the scaffolding, the men
found him and he was captured. It leaves the viewer to wonder if he would have been able
to escape capture if he had believed in himself and listened to Morpheus's suggestion. It...

Find Another Essay On The Matrix and Descartes

The Matrix And Technology Essay

1441 words - 6 pages unstoppable, wondrous and destructive. Both seem to predict the future of the world as it seen in the movie, "The Matrix." Latour's view of technology is that it comes from a wish to do good and improve life. He uses the example of a door to demonstrate the concept of dependance of machines. The door is the "machine" that people marveled at, when it was introduced, not knowing that it brought problems. Who would close it? Who would open it? Would

The Wasteland and The Matrix Essay

1798 words - 8 pages works of the greats. The Wachowski Brothers’ film, The Matrix, deals with similar themes as "The Wasteland" . The science fiction film set in world that has been taken over by machines and centers around the plight of unsuspecting hero, Neo and other who have been freed from the computer simulated reality of The Matrix. Both worlds of “The Wasteland” and The Matrix center around the struggles the inner self faces when modern society no longer

Friedrich Nietzsche and the Matrix

1164 words - 5 pages In the film, The Matrix, the human race is forced into a “dream state” by a powerful group that controls their reality. “The Matrix” is a false reality where people live an ordinary life. However, this reality, or illusion, is being forced onto people who readily accept it as truth. This concept is where Friedrich Nietzsche’s essay, “On Truth and Lies in a Moral Sense” (1873) begins its argument. Nietzsche begins his argument by explaining

The Mind and the World: Descartes Meditations

1194 words - 5 pages C. Santos Professor R. Boeker The Mind and the World Due: October 18, 2013 Descartes presents three skeptical arguments in his meditations which shows he has reason to doubt all of his sensory beliefs. Descartes ultimately aims to free himself from all bad beliefs. His quest for certainty is driven from his belief that our belief system is built on a foundation of basic beliefs, that are not justified, in turn, causing him to believe

Descartes and the Existence of God

1181 words - 5 pages Descartes and the Existence of God Once Descartes has realized that he can know with certainty that “I exist” is true, he continues to build on his foundation of truths. The truth about the nature of God, proof of God’s existence, and the nature of corporeal objects are considered, among others, after Descartes proves his existence. Descartes’ principal task in the Meditations was to devise a system that would bring him to the truth. He

Descartes on the Mind and Body

834 words - 4 pages A substance is a philosophical term that defines what a philosopher believes the world to be composed of. Descartes states that the world is composed of two substances: matter and mind. He states that he knows that matter and mind are distinct substances since he can distinctly think of each one separately and since matter is divisible while mind is not. These attempts at proving the distinctness of matter and mind from one another are both

The Rationalism of Descartes and Leibniz

2257 words - 9 pages The Rationalism of Descartes and Leibniz Although philosophy rarely alters its direction and mood with sudden swings, there are times when its new concerns and emphases clearly separate it from its immediate past. Such was the case with seventeenth-century Continental rationalism, whose founder was Rene Descartes and whose new program initiated what is called modern philosophy. In a sense, much of what the Continental rationalists set out

Descartes and the Existence of Physical Objects

673 words - 3 pages Descartes and the Existence of Physical Objects In his sixth meditation Descartes must return to the doubts he raised in his first one. Here he deals mainly with the mind-body problem and tries to prove whether material things exist with certainty. In this meditation he develops his dualist argument; by making a distinction between mind and body; although he also reveals that the are significantly related. He considers existence of the

The Simple Gift, Numb, and The Matrix

1247 words - 5 pages Humans by nature, desire to have connections with other individuals in order to have a sense of self worth. Many factors contribute to these connections. The free verse novel The Simple Gift by Steven Herrick, the song Numb by Linkin Park and the film The Matrix all demonstrate that some people purposely disconnect themselves from having connections with other individuals because for them to connect they would first have to modify their

Critical Summary of "The Matrix" and Symbolism

1038 words - 4 pages "The Matrix" (1999) follows the events surrounding Neo (a.k.a Thomas Anderson) a computer hacker that is trying to find the answer to the question 'what is the Matrix?' This search leads him to Morpheus, a leader of a crew of rebels who are in search for the One, the person who will destroy the machines that are controlling the humans, therefore obliterating the Matrix and saving humankind. Neo finds that the Matrix is a computer program that

Movie the Matrix and Octavia Butler's Dawn

1597 words - 6 pages Movie the Matrix and Octavia Butler's Dawn When I first announced to my parents that I was going to marry my current wife, the first words out of my father’s mouth were, “But she’s from another culture.” My father and mother, although being generally good people, are the products of an older system of beliefs. It is the matrix I was raised with, and that dictated my earlier learning experience. Fortunately for me, I chose to risk

Similar Essays

Descartes And The Matrix Essay

823 words - 3 pages Chris MendivilPhilosophyIsaac"The Reality of Our Existence: The Matrix and Descartes"Released in 1999, "The Matrix" managed to captivate audiences all over the world with innovative slow motion fight scenes, incredible special effects, and with the introduction of the often imitated directing technique, the "Bullet Time"; and whereas these certain components made the film incredibly successful and a cultural phenomenon, a great deal of the most

Descartes And The Mind Essay

1105 words - 5 pages Descartes and the mind The topic of the mind and how do we know has been around since the beginning of time. It is one of those questions that will most likely never be answered. I mean, the mind itself is so perplexing that we are still learning stuff about it daily. One question that Descartes proposed was “how do we know?” we still are pondering this one today. We ask it almost every day, maybe not in that way but in some form or another

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

Baudrillard And The Matrix Essay

1287 words - 5 pages In 1999 Larry and Andy Wachowski wrote and directed an American science fiction action film called The Matrix. The movie depicted a future where many humans might perceive is real, is actually a simulated reality. The Wachowski brothers made many explicit references in their film based on the work of French sociologist Jean Baudrillard. In Jean Baudrillard’s essay entitled “Simulacra and Simulations” he mentions in his essay how society has