Welcome to the
Desert of the Real
For Peter H. Hare,
Morpheus to many
Introduction: Meditations on The Matrix
How Do You Know?
Computers, Caves, and Oracles: Neo and Socrates
Skepticism, Morality, and The Matrix
GERALD J. ERION and BARRY SMITH
The Matrix Possibility
DAVID MITSUO NIXON
Seeing, Believing, Touching, Truth
The Desert of the Real
The Metaphysics of The Matrix
JORGE J.E. GRACIA and JONATHAN J. SANFORD
The Machine-Made Ghost: Or, The Philosophy of
Mind, Matrix Style
Neo-Materialism and the Death of the Subject
Fate, Freedom, and Foreknowledge
THEODORE SCHICK, JR.
Down the Rabbit Hole of Ethics
There Is No Spoon: A Buddhist Mirror
The Religion of The Matrix and the Problems
Happiness and Cypher’s Choice: Is Ignorance Bliss?
CHARLES L. GRISWOLD, JR.
We Are (the) One! Kant Explains How to Manipulate
Notes from Underground: Nihilism and The Matrix
THOMAS S. HIBBS
Popping a Bitter Pill: Existential Authenticity in
The Matrix and Nausea
JENNIFER L. MCMAHON
The Paradox of Real Response to Neo-Fiction
SARAH E. WORTH
Real Genre and Virtual Philosophy
DEBORAH KNIGHT and GEORGE MCKNIGHT
De-Construct-Ing The Matrix
Penetrating Keanu: New Holes, but the Same Old Shit
The Matrix, Marx, and the Coppertop’s Life
MARTIN A. DANAHAY AND DAVID RIEDER
The Matrix Simulation and the Postmodern Age
The Matrix: Or, The Two Sides of Perversion
The Oracle’s Index
About the Editor
Popular Culture and Philosophy
About The Matrix and Philosophy
Praise for The Matrix and Philosophy
About Open Court Publishing Company
Meditations on The Matrix
Which pill would you choose, the red or the blue? Is ignorance bliss, or is the truth worth knowing, no matter what? After watching The Matrix we are impressed by the action and special effects, and also besieged by questions. Is it possible that we ourselves are prisoners of the Matrix? Is this a Christian film? A Buddhist film? There is no spoon?
A student of mine at King’s College, Adam Albert, first drew my attention to The Matrix. He immediately saw the connections between the film and Descartes’s speculations on the possibility of deception by dreams or an evil deceiver. My experience and his were similar to those of philosophy professors and students around the world. The magazine Philosophy Now even held an
essay contest for college students. The topic: Which pill would you choose? Why?
With this book, professors follow the trail blazed by their students. Each author asks and answers questions about the philosophical significance of the film. As culture critic Slavoj Zizek suggests, The Matrix is a philosopher’s Rorschach inkblot test. Philosophers see their favored philosophy in it: existentialism, Marxism, feminism, Buddhism, nihilism, postmodernism. Name
your philosophical ism and you can find it in The Matrix. Still, the film is not just some randomly generated inkblot but has a definite plan behind it and intentionally incorporates much that is philosophical. The Wachowski brothers, college dropout
comic-book artists intrigued by the Big Questions, readily
acknowledge that they have woven many...
References: Originally, Simulacres et simulation (Paris: Éditions Galilée, 1981). Available
in English as Simulations (New York: Semiotext(e), 1983)
66–71, 123-126 as well as Baudrillard’s The Gulf War Did Not Take Place
(Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1995).
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