Angelabrafford-Phil

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Angela Brafford
PHIL 201
February 18, 2013
Essay

Great philosophers such as Plato, Socrates and Descartes developed theories thousands of years ago which changed the thought processes of many. These theories today are still influencing the lives of others. The Matrix, a very well-known movie released in 1999, retelling Plato’s theory, questioned the existence of reality and /or what we perceive as reality. The Matrix, Plato’s ‘Allegory of the Cave’ and Descartes ‘Meditation I’, all have similar views on reality, illusion and truth. Allegory of the Cave is a metaphor that describes what Plato believed reality to be. Plato believed that the things we perceive are imperfect reflections caused by the fire casting shadows on the cave walls that the puppeteers have constructed. The prisoners are chained down and unable to move their heads and forced to only look at the walls. Plato explains that the prisoners don’t know what reality really is or know what is actually happening. The readers of this story understand that the prisoners only perceive what the puppeteers are allowing them to falsely perceive and to consider as reality. In The Matrix, humanity is enslaved by machines that have tapped into human minds and have placed them in virtual reality world that the humans think and perceive as reality. The machines then use the humans’ energy from their bodies’ to survive while controlling the human’s minds. The Matrix is a computer containing software and programmed as a dream where everything previously seen through a minds’ eye as a dream, while also meant to keep humans under control. How do you know whether the things that you perceive are real or an illusion/dream? Neo, in The Matrix, chooses to take the ‘red pill’ which enables him to see the truth behind The Matrix and how he has been trapped in an illusion. The only...
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