April 13, 2014
Philosophy is defined as, “The experience of asking and seeking to answer such grand questions about life, about what we know, about what we ought to do or believe in” (Solomon and Higgins, 2014, p. 28). Solomon and Higgins in their definition of Physiology further stated, “It is the process of getting to the bottom of things, questioning ideas, that most of the time, we simply take for granted and probably never put into words” (p. 28). In this reflection paper, I will compare and contrast Plato’s “The Allegory of the Cave” with the motion picture, The Matrix. I will demonstrate some understanding of the principal areas of Philosophy covered in this course. To do this, I will respond to the following questions- What these two works say about the nature of reality, what roles does the problem of appearance and reality play in these two works? Next, I will state what ethical implications I think these works may suggest, and how do the two works explore the nature of knowledge. I will also compare my “What is your Philosophy?” survey results with the ones I had completed in the first week of this class. Afterwards, I will answer the following questions- How has my knowledge base grown in the areas I identified during my week one discussion. What insights have I gained about my beliefs related to those statements and lastly- Did my philosophy changed? The paper will end with a conclusion. Solomon and Higgins’ (2014) definition of Philosophy sums up what my understanding of philosophy has turned out to be during these past weeks of the course. In my comparison and contrast of Plato’s “The Allegory of the Cave” with the motion picture The Matrix, I was able to see the connection. In Plato’s “The Allegory of the Cave”, there is a conversation between two men, Socrates and Glaucon. In the conversation, Socrates is presenting his abstract interpretation of what he sees as he analyzes a picture. In the picture, there are a number of men bound to a wall, with symbols sketched into the wall. In the motion picture, The Matrix, there is also a conversation between Morpheus and Neo. They are inside a computer program. Morpheus turns on the television and shows Neo a picture of the world, as he knew it. He begins to talk about this world, and gives his interpretation of what he knows this world to be. Then, the picture changes to a world that appears destroyed, and Morpheus again gives his interpretation. In week four (4) of our course, we were introduced to the topics, The nature of Reality and the nature of Truth. In “The Allegory of the Cave” and The Matrix, the characters are analyzing reality from the unreal and truth. The conversation between Socrates and Glaucon is about when the unreal becomes real. Morpheus is discussing the same thing with Neo when he asks him, “What is real”? During our discussion for week four, we read a story entitled An Occurrence at Owl Creek where we had to separate the real from the unreal. During that time, I learned about metaphysics. Metaphysics attempts to explain what reality is. Solomon and Higgins (2014), explained reality as, “The distinction between what we simply see, what appears to be the case, and the deeper picture that allows us to explain it, forces us to introduce the concept of reality’ (p. 112). In relation to the nature of reality, the two works say that reality is what we interpret it to be. For example, in the “Allegory of the Cave”, Socrates explained the picture the way he perceived it would be if the people in the painting came to life. In The Matrix, Morpheus gave his interpretation of the real world. The role that the problem of appearance and reality play in these two works was that nothing appeared to be as it was. For example, in The Matrix, the way the real world appeared to Morpheus in reality, was not how Neo saw it to be. In the beginning of the...
References: Chaffee, J. (2013). The philosopher 's way: Thinking critically about profound ideas
(4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Solomon, R. & Higgins, K. (2014). The big questions: A short introduction to philosophy .
The Allegory of the Cave (pp. 245-249). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.
The Wachowski Brothers (Producers/Directors). (1995) The Matrix [Motion picture] Australia,
Warner Brothers Pictures.
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