Compare And Contrast Plato Descartes And The Matrix

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Plato, Descartes, and The Matrix Life and human existence give rise to a practically endless list of philosophical questions. Among these are found questions about the nature of our existence and the world around us: “What can we know? What is reality? Can we know anything for sure?” Such questions are incredibly complex and not easily answered. Some interesting insight can be found into these thoughts by looking at the work of Plato and Descartes along with the movie The Matrix. In their works entitled The Republic and Meditations on First Philosophy, Plato and Descartes (respectively) present some fascinating thoughts on how we interpret reality and how we know the things we know (if we can know anything at all). These two literary …show more content…
When Neo is unplugged from the Matrix, he joins a team of other freed humans on a mission to free more people from their ignorant bondage. In his analogy of the cave Plato says that the natural reaction of a person upon experiencing the greater scope of reality beyond the cave would be to pity the ignorant souls left inside. The character Cypher, however, decides that he would rather have the ignorant bliss of the Matrix than experience true reality. It could be said that Cypher had similar thoughts to those of Descartes. If it is impossible to tell the difference between reality and the Matrix (by sensory perception) then how would Cypher even know which one to accept as real? Just like Descartes concluded, Cypher would not be able to know anything for sure beyond the fact that he exists. Cypher concludes that since there really is no difference between knowing the truth and being blissfully ignorant, he would rather have ignorance. Again Plato, Descartes, and The Matrix all three present the same thought: we only know what we perceive through our senses and even then we cannot always trust …show more content…
First of all, Plato assumed that an inhabitant of the cave would be thrilled with the opportunity to experience the full extent of reality and would then pity the ignorance of those left in the cave. However, Cypher demonstrated this assumption to be false in how he chose the Matrix over reality. Perhaps some people would rather not discover the truth and are more content accepting only what their senses tell them to be real. The Matrix also differs from Descartes thoughts in how Descartes concludes that it is impossible to have absolutely certain knowledge. The characters who have been freed from the Matrix in the movie can tell when they are plugged into the Matrix and when they are in the real world. Descartes would say that they cannot truly know because they have reason to doubt their perception of reality even in the real world. Even in the differences that can be found between The Republic, Meditations on First Philosophy and The Matrix, one can find intriguing insight into the questions addressed here about the nature of reality and our perceptions of

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