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Compare and Contrast Essay: The Matrix, Plato, and Descartes

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Compare and Contrast Essay: The Matrix, Plato, and Descartes

Linda K. S. Addison

Liberty Online University

Compare and Contrast Essay: The Matrix, Plato, and Descartes

This essay will entail a compare and contrast approach between; a synopsis of The Matrix, to the famous allegory of the cave found in The Republic by Plato, and Meditation I from Meditations on First Philosophy by Descartes. Furthermore, attention will be aimed to substantiate the untenable view of skepticism; likewise, to show that truth can be acknowledged. To get started a brief history of these three pieces is necessary. The Matrix, youngest of three, was released in 1999. This movie was considered an action packed science fiction, which was followed by two sequels. Plato is the most identifiable, Athenian philosopher of the ancient Greek era. Approximately 2,500 year ago, The Republic was born as an exploration of an individual and nation’s soul, relating wisdom to true knowledge. Plato later withdrew from The Republic theory. Meditations, released in 1641, is considered an immense accomplishment for René Descartes. The view Descartes expresses gained him the title "Father of Modern Philosophy".

These three views have materialized at different time periods in history. Even with this point, there are similarities and differences among them. A main question among them all referred to reality and the realness of their living environment. They were skeptics when addressing reality in which were willing to leave their perceived reality in an attempt to obtain true reality. A difference among them was there source of control. A computer system was the controlling power in The Matrix. Descartes’ personal perception of evil demons was the controlling force. The allegory of the cave was governed by the domineering behavior of mankind.

Plato’s cave allegory and The Matrix share a commonality reference the epistemological deception regarding the senses; therefore, desire to separate from these senses to gain genuine knowledge. This being the view of global skeptics under the systematic doubt. The prisoner in allegory of the cave and Neo, in The Matrix, escapes from the controlling force in which controlled them since birth. A contrast between these have to do with events pertaining to awareness and perception of false reality. Neo start to take cognizance as to realty prior to knowing he live in false reality. Given the opportunity to for real reality in which he chose. Reference to Plato’s the cave allegory, individuals, not by their choosing were set free. At this time true reality was presented.

A commonality between The Matrix and Descartes’ Meditations is the conundrum called ‘brain in a vat’, referred to as Evil Demon Hypothesis in the modern period. This is described as wires connected directly to the brain, controlled by an external power. Every thought, impulse, response, or command the brain preforms, is controlled by this external power. A contrast here relates to Neo’s world being controlled by a major computer and Descartes by evil demons. Some believe The Matrix was created based on this theory by Descartes. The external control is part of Descartes’ ‘reasoning of skepticism’, systematic


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