The Matrix, Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, and Rene Descartes’ Meditation all share the fundamental issue of deception. They all ask whether the world we live in is real or a figment of our imagination. Can we trust our minds or is there something bigger controlling our perceptions? All articles discuss some type of reflections and different meaning about life and how we view it.
When comparing The Matrix with Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, they both tell stories of characters where their experiences feel like a dream or an illusion. They were deceived by what they saw; they were deceived by their senses about the world they thought they were living in. The people in The Matrix are like the prisoners in the cave, they could only see what machines, or puppeteers, want them to see. Their knowledge was based on senses and experiences only. Just because the prisoners were never acquainted with the truth, does not mean that their perception of reality is ...view middle of the document...
In this case, the person must rely on someone else’s perceptions. A person who cannot hear is told of the sounds that surround them, but they have no way of knowing how a bird chirps or a dog barks. Because they cannot experience these things to be true, their perceptions of these things are not trustworthy, just as the prisoner’s perceptions from the cave.
The Matrix is also very similar to Descartes’ dream of the evil demon tricking him into believing that everything he thinks and knows is not real. In The Matrix, Andersen, Neo’s senses cannot show him proof the world he is in exists. Rene Descartes’ evil demon is perceptibly shown in the Matrix as the unreal intelligence that forces a virtual reality on humans. Just as Descartes realized that the perceptions in his dreams were strong enough to convince him the dreams were real, the humans who are plugged into the Matrix have no idea that their reality of sense is false, created artificially instead of coming from actual experiences.
Descartes questions whether he is awake or dreaming. In The Matrix, Neo is confused by what he sees and experiences while in the Matrix as compared to the life he has known. The Matrix was a computer with programming simulation of the world that was experienced by virtual lives by being an individual player. Descartes believes that all things are illusions of dreams; also he would rather stay in the dream, instead of awaking to reality. The dream is comparable to his own personal Matrix, that because of the evil demon nothing is credible or truly real. Like Descartes, Neo eventually knows to take nothing into existence, and even questions the existence of things that may seem real.
All three of the pieces question how we know whether our realities are real. Can we truly base our knowledge of reality on our senses and experiences? Could there be someone or something else controlling our perceptions? In Neo’s case he was able to be unplugged from the Matrix to see that everything he had perceived had been manufactured. In Plato’s Allegory of the Cave the prisoner was taken from the cave and once he learned to adjust to the sunlight, he was able to recognize the difference with certainty, firmness, and conviction.