John L. Hill II
Professor Allyn Kyes
October 18, 2012
The Matrix, The Cave And Meditations
Thesis: There are many similarities in the Matrix ( Wachowski, Andy, and Lana Wachowski 1999 ), The Allegory of the Cave ( Plato ) and Meditation I of The Things of Which We May Doubt ( Decartes, 1641 ). It appears as you take a close look at the Matrix that it is a retelling of “The Allegory of the Cave” with elements of “Meditation I of the Things of Which We May Doubt” in it as well. I. Introduction
A. Overview of “The Cave”
B. Overview of “Meditation”
C. Overview of “Matrix”
A. Similarities & Differences of Matrix and The Cave
B. Similarities & Differences of Matrix and Meditation
A. We seem to be asking the same old question in modern ways
The Matrix, The Cave And Meditations
There are many similarities in The Matrix ( Wachowski, Andy, and Lana Wachowski 1999 ), The Allegory of the Cave ( Plato VII, 514A1-518D8 ) and Meditation I of The Things of Which We May Doubt ( Decartes, 1641 ). It appears as you take a close look at the Matrix that it is a retelling of “The Allegory of the Cave” with elements of “Meditation I of the Things of Which We May Doubt” in it as well. The Cave
The Allegory of the Cave” (Plato) is a metaphor that shows how we believe reality. What it is showing is that the things we perceive are imperfect reflections of forms that only represent reality. In the Allegory, Plato uses a cave where prisoners are chained down and forced to look at the wall. Plato shows that the prisoners do not actually know what reality is. The readers understand that the puppeteers behind the prisoners are using objects to create shadows to real things and people, but the prisoners are unable to turn their heads, so they don’t know anything other than what they are being made to believe is their reality. The point being made in this illustration is that, what we perceive as real is completely false based on the fact that our interpretations of reality are imperfect interpretations. In other words, our terms are not for things we can see, but they are describing things that can only be found in the mind or “imagination” says Plato. When the prisoner is released, he looks at the fire and objects that created is sense of reality and realizes that these things have become a new reality to him. Plato then discusses the prisoner’s new reality and asks if the prisoner would want to return to the false reality of truth, or would following after reality be the only thing that would satisfy him? Socrates and Glaucon both agree that the prisoner would not want to return to a life of non-reality. Returning to the Cave, the prisoner is faced with other unreleased prisoners. They laugh and mock him for leaving the cave. They cannot understand, because they have never experienced the reality, so the prisoner must take it upon himself to enlighten the others. You might say that Plato is now discussion the concept of being a great leader, and not just talking about perceptions of reality. Meditation
In Meditation I of The Things of Which We May Doubt ( Decartes, 1641 ), Descartes has found that he has been mistaken about things that he always thought he knew for certain. He tries to solve this problem by doing away with all of his pre-conceived ideas and building a new foundation for his knowledge, by accepting as true on the things that he is absolutely certain about. Everything that he had known before came to him via his senses, so he withdraws from the senses. He could be dreaming at any moment during the day or he could be in a state of deception from God or the devil, so he thinks that he cannot trust his senses in regards to anything.
Descartes finds that he cannot doubt his own existence because...