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By William Irwin

The Matrix conveys the horror of a fake international made from not anything yet perceptions. in keeping with the idea that fact is a dream managed by means of malevolent forces, it's essentially the most brazenly philosophical videos ever to return out of Hollywood.

These thought-provoking essays via a similar crew of younger philosophers who created The Simpsons and Philosophy speak about varied elements of the first philosophical puzzle of The Matrix: will we make sure the area is de facto there, and if now not, what may still we do approximately it? different chapters handle problems with faith, way of life, popular culture, the Zeitgeist, the character of brain and topic, and the truth of fiction.

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Extra info for The Matrix and Philosophy: Welcome to the Desert of the Real (Popular Culture and Philosophy)

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This scene mirrors the scariest philosophical problem I know: the thoughtexperiment that supposes that we are but brains in a vat, and only electrical impulses provide us with a mental life. Are grounds for this kind of suspicion even remotely justified? The senses have long been regarded as the organic interface between mind and body, the means by which we gather data in order to form knowledge about the world. And as we know from experience, any kind of sense perception can be subject to occasional illusion.

So, philosophy provides a number of tools for relieving the metaphysical uncertainty that a thoughtful viewing of The Matrix might at first provoke. Since our knowledge—of where we are sitting, of what we are doing, of what the world around us is like—does not require philosophical certainty, but only those sorts of strong, context-appropriate justifications which we employ for everyday and scientific purposes, it follows that we can use the good reasons we have for believing in the external world to justify our claims to knowledge not only about the existence of this world, but also about its nature and constitution.

Nor am I worried about whether the story is, so to speak, technologically or scientifically possible. That is, it might turn out that the story violates certain laws of physics, for example, and might be held to be impossible for reasons along those lines. But that would not bother me. Rather, I am worried about whether the story is, at some level, not even conceptually coherent. As I have pointed out already, if you are in the Matrix right now, then a heck of a lot of your beliefs are false. ) It is this widespread error—this tremendous amount of false belief—that I think begins to threaten the coherence of the Matrix story.

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