Epistemology is the nature of knowledge. Knowledge is important when considering what is reality and what is deception. The movie "The Matrix" displays a social deception in which Neo, the main character, is caught between what he thought was once reality and a whole new world that controls everything he thought was real. If I were Neo, I would not truly be able to know that I was in the matrix. However, it is rational to believe that I am in the matrix and will eventually enter back into my reality later. The proof that that I can know that I am in the matrix and that I will return to reality comes from the responses of foundationalism, idealism, and pallibalism.
To begin, foundationalism is the essence of what we are certain of. Many philosophers argue on the basis of foundationalism to find out where knowledge begins. This will help determine if Neo would be able to know or not know if he is dreaming up the matrix or in fact that it is reality. The popularity of foundationalism starts with Descartes. He challenged the previously popular skepticism. In Descartes Meditations he discusses many issues relating to the question of "where does knowledge come from?" His main arguments appear in his dreaming argument. He first begins by stating 1. I often have perceptions very much like the ones I usually have in sensation while I am dreaming. Then he goes on to say 2. There are no definite signs to distinguish dream experience from waking experience. These two premises lead to the conclusion that 3. It is possible that I am dreaming right now and that all my perceptions are false. This shows that there is no real way to know to know anything. Descartes add to his argument using foundationalism. "'Throughout my writings I have made it clear that my method imitates that of the architect. When an architect wants to build a house which is stable on ground where there is a sandy topsoil over underlying rock, or clay, or some other firm base, he begins by...
Cited: Newman, Lex, "Descartes ' Epistemology", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 1999 Edition), Edward N, Zalta (ed.), URL= http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spring1999/entries/Descartes
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