as involving hallucinations, McGinn seeks to show how the particular details of the filmmake it more plausible to see the Matrix as involving the direct employment of one’s
(as in a dream), rather than a force-feeding of false
. Alongthe way, McGinn’s essay also touches on the moral assumptions of the film, severalother philosophical problems raised by the character of Cypher, and the dreamlikequality of
is a philosopher known both for his pioneering discussion of thephilosophical problems of Artificial Intelligence, and his work in bridging the gapbetween recent European and English-language philosophy. In "
The Brave New World of
," he and his son
draw on the phenomenological traditionthat began with Edmund Husserl and culminates in Maurice Merleau-Ponty to discussthe skeptical and moral problems raised by the film. They argue that the real worryfacing folks trapped in the Matrix involves not deception or the possession of possiblyfalse beliefs, but the limits on creativity imposed by the Matrix. Following MartinHeidegger in suggesting that our human nature lies in our capacity to redefine ournature and thereby open up new worlds, they conclude that this capacity for radicalcreation seems unavailable to those locked within the pre-programmed confines of theMatrix.
, author of the best-selling book
The Metaphysics of Star Trek
and aphilosophy professor at the University of Delaware, again explores the intersection of philosophy and science fiction with his entertaining and thought-provoking piece"
Never the Twain Shall Meet: Reflections on The First Matrix
." In it he argues that
may have lessons to teach us regarding the coherence of our values. In particular, hemakes the case that, given a traditional Christian notion of an afterlife, Heaven turnsout to be rather like a Matrix! Even more surprising is a corollary to this thesis: Jean-Paul ("Hell is other people") Sartre was close to the truth after all – Heaven is bestunderstood as a Matrix-like simulation in which contact with other real human beingsis eliminated.
, a philosopher at Brooklyn College who specializes in Plato,Aristotle, and Wittgenstein, offers a penetrating investigation into the differences (andsurprising similarities) between the scenario described in
and our owneveryday situation in his essay "
Reality, What Matters, and
." Pointing out thatmore than we might expect hinges on the moral backdrop of
plot line, heasks readers to instead envisage a "benevolently generated Matrix." Given thepossibility of such a Matrix and the actuality of a horrible situation on Earth, he arguesthat we will agree that entering into it offers not a denial of what we most value but