Philosophy Compare & Contrast: The Maxtrix (1st movie) to Plate or Descartes
Please relate The Matrix (original movie, first of the trilogy) to a topic we covered regarding Plato or Descartes. Find some analogy in the movie to the epistemology/ontology associated with Plato or Descartes and use those scenes and their corresponding pages from our text to develop a compare and contrast essay – your topic sentence (thesis statement) will (hopefully) become clear as you do this, if it isn’t before you start the writing process.Please DO NOT use the “Allegory of the Cave” reference found on the Internet and elsewhere.
Please relate The Matrix (original movie, first of the trilogy) to a topic we covered regarding Plato or Descartes. Find some analogy in the movie to the epistemology/ontology associated with Plato or Descartes and use those scenes and their corresponding pages from our text to develop a compare and contrast essay – your topic sentence (thesis statement) will (hopefully) become clear as you do this, if it isn’t before you start the writing process.
Please do NOT use the “Allegory of the Cave” reference found on the Internet and elsewhere.
The following are just quick ideas I have put together to get some of you started, but you are not restricted to them:
* The themes of appearance and reality as well as that of skepticism are very appropriate. Do we know what is really real? The Matrix shows an alternate scenario regarding reality. What can be experienced in the matrix are “copies” of the things in the real world (and things in the visible world are “copies” of the Forms, in Plato’s view).
* Descartes offers an account of dreams; the computer simulation depicted in The Matrix makes us wonder if we could be living in a dream world. Descartes states that “there is no philosophical proof that at any given moment one is not dreaming…” (Palmer, Edition number, pg xx). The producers of The Matrix imagined something similar to the dream hypothesis (Dream Skepticism – Descartes) possibility. Morpheus: “Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream, Neo? How would you know the difference between the dreamworld and the real world?” In the movie, as Neo is stumbling over the truth, Morpheus asks “what is real?” in an attempt to emphasize that reality is sometimes more than we can see. Sensations of smell, sight, touch and taste are just electrical signals placed in the mind (The Matrix, xx:yy). As Morpheus asks Neo “Do you think that is air you’re breathing?” (The Matrix, xx:yy), Morpheus is helping Neo realize that what he was experiencing back in the matrix is not real, that the life he has known is only a long “dream.”
* Neo wakes up and asks Morpheus why his eyes are hurting, to which Morpheus answers that his eyes hurt because he has never used them before. There are two worlds, reality and what we perceive to be reality. One is real, but people in the simulation cannot realize there is a real world out there. “The matrix is all around us. It is a world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth…that you are a slave Neo, like everyone else, you were born into bondage…a prison for your mind.” (The Matrix, xx:yy)
* Neo asks Morpheus what happens if one dies in the matrix and Morpheus responds that if one dies in the matrix, one dies in the real world and adds that this is because the body and the mind cannot function without each other. What are the views of Descartes on this topic? You may wish to visit a few pages at the beginning of the Ontology chapter, under dualism – or simply not choose this last topic for your essay!
Consider your class notes of references to The Matrix I made and will make in lectures. Now make notes as you watch the movie again. Identify scene times in preparation for the essay; it will then be pretty straightforward to write the essay as you visit those scenes again. Think, consult our text and your class notes – discover more related themes and scenes. You will choose a topic presented in both your readings and the movie and will expose it by comparing and contrasting it.
If you are among those who might not feel comfortable writing about Plato or Descartes, consider instead writing about the section on Berkeley, which will be covered for Test 2 – you will not be able to get started right away though. Follow essentially the same directions, but you will compare and contrast Berkeley’s philosophical views (from Palmer) with the appropriate scenes in The Matrix – other students may choose to write about Berkeley as well, even though Berkeley is meant as a safety measure for those who may not have a clue about Plato/Descartes.
You may ONLY use our textbook and the movie as sources for your essays. Use two textbook citations: Palmer, Edition number, page numbers (in parentheses at the end of the relevant quote or paraphrasing), to provide some foundation for your topic. Use two scenes from the movie. When using the required movie scenes provide the relevant scene times (e.g. The Matrix, 00:45 to 01:15 – this means from 45 seconds of the beginning of the movie to one and a quarter minute) as you would do with page numbers – that is your scene citation. Do not include a bibliography page. If you use an unofficial (not the seventh) edition of Palmer’s book, please make sure to specify which edition and do NOT use the Allegory of the Cave passage present in some older editions! If no edition is specified, the Seventh will be assumed and used to evaluate your work.
Please use a standard (Times New Roman) 12-point font and double-space. Margins should be standard (about 1 inch). No need to stretch margins or increase font size, since we go by the number of words. Your essay must be between 750-1000 words; I know it is a very short space, so get to the point right away. This is not a movie review. In fact, I do not need to find out how much you liked/disliked the movie. Using old-fashioned measurements, the short, concise essay is about three to four pages long, but we go by number of words. Your word processor can do a word count for you and Turnitin will do it for me.
Please do not include a cover page, only include your name, course (PHI2010), semester, date and email address on the top of the first page. Save your paper under a name that closely identifies it with our course and with you (e.g. JSmithPHI2010_E).
Gordon Rule (GR) Requirements
Your essays must (1) have a clearly defined central idea or thesis; (2) provide adequate support for that idea; (3) be organized clearly and logically; and (4) utilize the conventions of standard edited American English. Please highlight your thesis statement, the key sentences in each supporting paragraph and that in your concluding paragraph; this will help me find the logical flow of what you are saying. If you are unable to meet the above four requirements, consult your English Composition professor or go to the Writing Lab.
Menu of points you may choose to have deducted, broken down by sin (offense). It turns out that most points are lost due to failure to follow instructions! Please use these examples of common point deductions to freely choose some of the points you would like to be deducted from your essay score:
* Scene citation-related (incorrect, missing, etc.) 5-15 pts
* Textbook citation-related (incorrect, missing, etc.) 5-15 pts
* Fewer than 750 words (10-100) pts
* If essay is not double-spaced (5 points)
* Failure to provide requested highlights (underline is acceptable) 5-10 pts
* Using a source that is not the textbooks and the specified version of the movie (50-100 pts)
* Please do NOT use the “Allegory of the Cave” reference found on the Internet and elsewhere (-100 points).
* Plagiarism (100 points)
* Not revealing the use of an unapproved source (100 points)
* Spelling errors (2 points each)
• Grammatical errors
* Punctuation errors and omissions (2 points each)
* If for any reason I end up submitting your e-paper to Turnitin (10 points)