Plato Descartes and the Matrix

When completed studying the excerpts of the Matrix, Plato’s “The Allegory of the Cave”, and Descartes Meditation I, I recognized various connections as well as variety. All readings challenge the idea of reality; if their reality is being managed, and which reality they are existing in. In all these narratives the characters were doubtful of whether reality truly exists or doesn’t exist. The characters in each excerpt aspired to part away from the impression they understood as reality and to seek what they perceived to be a pure existence. Various distinctions within each expert are detected too; for instance, in “The Matrix”, the idea of reality was managed by a server or something along those lines, Plato’s cave was managed by humanity, and Descartes reality is dominated according to his thoughts of evil demons. However, even though they appear related in interest to the guidance of the thought they hold distinct traits on how they are noted. In comparing Plato’s cave and The Matrix we see that each of these individuals come to face the one manipulating them and are set free from this manipulation. In both stories, the characters have been manipulated since birth and know nothing of any other reality but the one that they are currently living in. In both of these, the characters are bound to the state that they are in. In Plato’s cave, they have been bound by chains, and have been that way since childhood. They are shown multiple shadows on the wall from the beginning and come to believe that these shadows are real.

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Much like the cave, the character in The Matrix is bound in a pod and feed images to keep them in a dreamlike state. The characters have been bound this way since their youth and are completely unaware of the reality of this situation. The major differences between these two stories are how these individuals come to the realization of the false reality and how it is perceived afterward. In the cave allegory, the individual is set free not of his own choice but by the choice of those controlling him. When the individual is set free from the cave he begins tosee reality for what it is after a time of adjustment. He then begins to contemplate the greatness of this reality and moves onto his own happiness and pities those who are still in the cave. In contrast, Neo the main character of The Matrix begins to question his reality before ever knowing that there was an alternate reality. Eventually, Neo is given the opportunity to find true reality or stay in the reality he now knows. Neo chooses the true reality and in doing so returns to make those who are still stuck in that reality aware of the true reality. One last difference is in the cave allegory Plato stated, he had seen before was all a cheat and an illusion. He will then want to turn toward real things. (n.d.) In contrast, in The Matrix Cypher wanted to return the state of his false reality because he felt it better than the true reality.

Now in the comparison between Descartes and The Matrix we see that they both begin to question the current reality. In both of these stories, the individuals are plagued by a dream state reality. For Descartes, it is controlled by evil demons, whereas in The Matrix it is controlled by a supercomputer. Both are in what they perceive as a dream state reality in which all their sense cannot be trusted. Descartes stated, perceive so clearly that there exist no certain marks by which the state of waking can ever be distinguished from sleep. (1641) This statement matches what Neo felt, he felt as that he could not tell the difference between a dream and reality. The major contrast between Descartes and Neo is that Neo eventually was able to find true reality. In contrast, Descartes was never able to find his true reality because he began to question his own reason. To conclude, each of these narratives brings into acccont the life we live, and how we perceive it. How do we know that person we talk to is real or the food we are eating is fake or is it something inserted in our minds? Can we truly comprehend this universe or are we within asimulated existence? I will and have to believe that the reality that I perceive is true because I’m the only one who understands what I understand.

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Plato Descartes and The Matrix. (2019, Jul 30). Retrieved February 5, 2023 , from

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