As and Morpheus believed it was time to

As we let our mind
wonder questions begin to form. Questions about life, our purpose, where we
might have come from, or the existence of other life forms within our universe
emanate. Infamous philosophical scholars have researched all of these questions
for hundreds of years in an attempt to uncover the truth. Even today many
scientist and theologians all have their own speculation, but movie producers
assist in our curiosity by creating movies with a theoretical background. The
Matrix was a movie that spiked conceptual thought for viewers to demand
certainty because of the derived philosophy against what is
known to be true. The characteristics of the issues related to skepticism and
the mind-body problem are evident within the plot and in relation to Plato and
Descartes; arguments can be made to prove philosophical truth.

The Matrix was
produced by the premise of philosophical question under the intellectual independence
presented by Rene Descartes. Each individual has the ability to think for
oneself leading Neo to ask the question what is the ‘Matrix’? Neo is depicted
in the movie as a computer programmer for his day job and a well-capable hacker
by night. As Neo ventures deep within a new reality, skepticism is on the rise
and believes the encounters with the agents and Morpheus are just a dream. Basing
reality purely on senses Neo is uncertain what to believe. Neo’s perception of
life was a misconception of the truth and Morpheus believed it was time to
allow Neo to discover the truth for what he is searching for in the Matrix. Descartes
lived his life questioning the knowledge gained through his senses and
eventually began to doubt what was true of existence. This doubt became evident
by the means of the Wax Argument. By nature wax has a particular texture and
smell, but these features will implicitly change by heat.

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By the intrinsic
qualities of learning some things are not perceived to be what they are made out
to be brings forth much doubt. This doubt is evident in the Matrix when Neo
receives cryptic messages appearing on his computer monitor screen. As Neo
follows the instructions of the message, he does not know how to perceive what
is happening. When Neo decides to choose and fully embrace himself into
reality, not that of the Matrix, his body is in a pod waiting to gain
consciousness. Being carefully watched over and getting rest Neo meets the crew
working for Morpheus, yet still doubting his senses. Although Neo maintains
working senses, and attempts to believe the underground city of Zion is truth,
there remains doubt. Learning that the world in which humans live is just a
façade and in reality humans are farmed for energy by machines, Neo does not
trust his senses and wants to believe everything is an optical illusion.

 As Neo continues to plug-in to the Matrix he
begins to grasp a better understanding of the computer-generated world built by
machines. Neo is initially confused and desperately trying to understand. While
the Matrix is a made up world, the only way to get in to that separate world is
by transporting through a computer mainframe, and by this action the theory of
Cartesian Dualism surfaces. This theory states, in relation to philosophy of mind,
that the mind and body are profoundly dissimilar. In a sense, the mind-body
problem is unalike in that individuals have both physical and mental
differences. However, this issue raises the question of are these so-called
sentient machines a real possibility? According to Descartes, based on the
speculation that because the mind is comprehensive in that it is not a bodily
substance and bears consciousness separate of the body, it is not possible to
construct a sentient machine. Although this possibility is opinionated, materialists
strongly believe otherwise. Their belief holds true to the fact that a machine
can only become more intelligent as the size and complex nature of the mind
increases.

During the Matrix
Neo specifically asks what happens if one dies in the matrix. This question
results from the knowledge of the matrix being an entirely fabricated reality.

Morpheus replies, “The body cannot live without the mind,” which gives Neo
slight apprehensiveness into the departure from reality. This answer also
stretches the philosophy Descartes trusted in. As for Neo, struggling to
comprehend the potential loss of his own life, nothing in the matrix is real
but just an illusion they plug into with the mind. The implication of these
statements suggests the body and mind cannot exist separately. Although, by
this theory Descartes lived by and the portrayal of The Matrix; there remains
inconsistency. Descartes truly believed there was distinction between the mind
and body, and he could live without being in the flesh.

When Plato wrote
the ‘Allegory of the Cave’ he was attempting to aid people to think for
themselves and not believe in claimed knowledge from human perception. This
theory of how individuals think questions reality in the same way Neo was on a
quest for the truth. The Allegory of the Cave explains that a prisoner was held
chained inside a cave all his life. As this prisoner continues to age he
becomes comprehensive of the world that he lives in. This prisoner is much like
Neo within the Matrix, as Neo lives life he is only able to decipher the
reality of the made up world. In each story the prisoner, similarly to Neo, are
forced into acceptance of what is truth. This truth comes from knowledge gained
of the illicit deceptive power our senses are capable of. The deep root of
epistemological unreliability of our senses is exclusive to undisclosed
fundamental truths of reality.

The prisoner and
Neo both live in worlds controlled by a great power, therefore, essentially
both slaves to a world in which offers nothing more than living a life in the
dark. Escaping the world perceived as reality offers liberation for each character
stretching the minds’ capabilities gaining wisdom for the prisoner of the cave,
and Neo learns to manipulate the matrix to his advantage. These stories are so
closely related it provides many to reconsider what is reality. The Matrix
gives appealing evidence with human emotions that renders the audience assuming
reality is truth, but understanding externally of what reality is not enables
concrete evidence.

 Descartes and Plato bring forth notions that
would seem to be outlandish, but certainly contain profound evidence that is
quite stimulating. Descartes advocated to not trusting our perceptions because
they give off illusions. This sensory stimulus is difficult to believe because
of the discrepancy received neurologically. As we view the world around us our
senses are misleading in the fact that our mind generates our perceptions based
off firing neural circuits of a representational model of reality. This fact to
evident with The Matrix when Neo is told the truth about the world he knew to
be reality was just a deception developed by sentient machines. Although
Descartes was to the utmost degree of being skeptical of what is reality, we
cannot discount the credit he deserves because this view is impossible to
refute. Our senses are full of deceptive behavior, but there are no wicked
forces attempting to diversify the nature of reality.

Plato alludes to
the limitations of the minds’ capabilities within ‘The Allegory of the Cave’
because the prisoners have a miniscule understanding of the objects projected
by shadows. This insufficient knowledge only prevents the prisoner from full
understanding and learning by the means of direct experience. This idea is
analogous with that of The Matrix suggesting that the people living in the
Matrix and the prisoners of the cave are only able to perceive their personal
experiences of their world. The reality of the cave dwellers was deceptive by puppeteers
expressing shadows of their idea of the world on a wall to be left for
interpretation. While afterwards the prisoner of the cave learns the truth of
life, there would be no reason for him to seek out living once again in the
cave, however, during The Matrix, the character Cypher living in the real world
of Zion makes a bargain plea with the machines to get back into the matrix and
live life in the dark.

Between the
skepticism of Descartes and Plato questioning the true meaning of life supports
the abundant similarities between The Matrix and the philosophy of these
scholars. Besides being entertaining through action packed choreography, The
Matrix is able to allure the audience in a thought-provoking setting
challenging the imposed beliefs of the mind-body problem and implanting new
ideas into the complexity of the philosophy of the mind. By the perpetual
possibilities of the abstract thought process we, as humans, are empowered to
deliver unimaginable works through creativity of reason.