Plato's cave in Matrix The theme was actually suggested by the student who submitted this contribution.
 
  Is there any philosophy in the Matrix? As a matter of fact there is! It is not what you call difficult to find an analogy between the Matrix script and the famous allegory of the Cave of the Greek philosopher Plato.

Indeed, in the allegory, Plato describes prisoners chained in a cave, unable to turn their heads. All they can see is the wall of the cave. Behind them burns a fire, while puppeteers, behind the prisoners, hold up puppets that cast shadows on the wall of the cave.  The prisoners are only able to see and hear the shadows and echoes cast by objects that they cannot see.

In Matrix, we are in the same case, mankind is only aware of its existence through machines. As Neo says while he goes to see the Oracle: “I have these memories from my life and none of them happened”. However, the machines, like the puppeteers, also share that false reality. Agent Smith, during Morpheus’s interrogation, says about human civilization: ‘... when we started thinking for you, it became our civilization.”

Then, Plato continues his account of the liberation of one of the prisoners and his discovery of both worlds: the real world and that created by the puppeteers. That is exactly the pattern of the Watchowski brothers' movie. Thus, to realize that he has “been living in a dream world”, Neo has to “free his mind”. Plato also imposes a mission on the “One” who discovers the dual worlds; he has to free the other prisoners. That is Neo's mission, he will save humanity by showing everybody the truth. In the last sequence, when Neo phones the machines, he says: “And then I will show these people what you don’t want them to see, I’m going to show them a world without you, a world without rules or controls, without borders or boundaries.”

In that way, Matrix appears to be a philosophical metaphor of self-consciousness setting itself free. Therefore, remember: “there is no spoon!”

This page was contributed by Nassim Haddouche. Proofreading bm.

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