Have you ever felt like the life you are living right now is not real? You do not know what is real and what is not real? You doubt your very existence. These were main problems for Neo, the main character of the movie “The Matrix”. Neo thought he was living a normal life, but he felt like something was wrong, he did not know what it was, could not explain it, but something was wrong. Later on Neo learns the truth from a man named Morpheus; he found out that what he thought was real was actually not real at all, it was all a computer program. The life he lived was all a lie because of his perception blocking out reality. “The Matrix” can be compared to ontology, the study of being or what is, “The Matrix” relates to both dualism, both body and mind are affected, and finally it relates to the brain in a vat and the “evil genius” ruining his view of life.
Parmenides was a philosopher who believed that all reality is one, it is not a plurality, and reality is being. He came up with “Ontology” or in Greek “Ontos”, ontology is the study of being or “what is”. Ontology has two parts to it one, what is, is and two, what is not is not, which is not being. The universe consists of one thing, it never changes, it has no parts, and it can never be destroyed, all this being one. Ontology is metaphysics. “Physics is concerned with the microscopic processes that underlie macroscopic reality; metaphysics is concerned with the fundamental nature of reality. A metaphysical hypothesis might make a claim about the reality that underlies physics itself. Alternatively it might say something about the nature of our minds, or the creation of our world”-John J. Chalmers. But then comes an “evil genius” who comes and tries and confuse you about what is and what is not.
Rene Descartes was born in 1596 and died in 1650, he was known as the father of modern philosophy. He believed that nature had two distinct properties, dualism (mind-body). Descartes came up with his own dualism called Cartesian dualism one “The body casually affects the mind” and two “The mind casually affects the body.” The mind is the essence of thinking or our consciousness, our conscious states are continuous, and minds are indivisible. The body is an extension of the mind, it is divisible matter and it is destructible. Descartes came up with a very famous saying, “Cogito Ergo Sum” Latin for “I think therefore I am.” This saying mean that “I cannot be mistaken about my own about the existence of my own consciousness, or I cannot be mistaken about my own existence because it is my essence to be conscious thinking being, a mind”, doubt is the first step to certainty. Then comes the “Evil Genius”, it tries to trick you about your existence, but it cannot deceive you about yourself. The mind is the tool that allows you to doubt the “Evil Genius.” In the movie “The Matrix” Morpheus asks Neo “what is real?” and then says “how do you define real? If you are talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, taste, and see then real is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain.” “Each will interpret particular experiences, as well as the whole of reality, differently simply due to the divergent belief systems that each possess. Of course, our belief systems can be wrong, and thus reality is not as we think it is. This was Neo’s discovery when he ate the red pill and the discovery of philosophers when they began to question their beliefs more than twenty-six hundred years ago. Thus Neo’s awakening is symbolic of the general philosophical experience of questioning one’s belief about the world, and the attempt to discover what exists behind our illusions. We can be deceived by evil machines, a Cartesian demon, or by the traditions of our society; and if we are, then reality is not as we believe it is.”-thematrix101
The brain in a vat is basically your brain being placed in a jar and...