Like Splinter Your Mind


Like a Splinter in Your Mind leads readers through the myriad of philosophical themes within the Matrix trilogy, helping them to gain a better understanding of the films and of philosophy itself.

  • Offers a way into philosophy through the Matrix films.
  • Covers thirteen of the biggest philosophical questions in thirteen self-sufficient ...
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Like a Splinter in Your Mind leads readers through the myriad of philosophical themes within the Matrix trilogy, helping them to gain a better understanding of the films and of philosophy itself.

  • Offers a way into philosophy through the Matrix films.
  • Covers thirteen of the biggest philosophical questions in thirteen self-sufficient chapters suitable for course use.
  • Demonstrates how each of these questions is illustrated through the events and characters of the films.
  • Considers whether sentient machines are possible, and whether we should expect them to face the same existentialist issues that we do.
  • Familiarises readers with key issues in metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, philosophy of mind, race and gender, existentialism, Taoism and mysticism.
  • Includes a chapter that explains some of the technical elements of the films and confusing aspects of the plot.
  • Also includes a Matrix glossary, and a cast of characters and their related symbolism.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Given the wide variety of topics covered, the unique perspective, and the inviting style, Splinter truly is the book Matrix fans have been waiting for. As an introduction to philosophy, it's first-rate, both for fans of the trilogy, and even those who aren't." THEMATRIX101.COM

"The book is exceptionally well-organized: Lawrence has done a remarkable job of isolating the salient issues and examining them systematically, one by one, chapter by chapter, in a colloquial, witty style that enhances the accessibility of his method." The Boston Phoenix, Friday September 24, 2004

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405125246
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 7/28/2004
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 232
  • Sales rank: 643,767
  • Product dimensions: 8.94 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author

Matt Lawrence is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Long Beach City College.

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Table of Contents


Before the Philosophy – Understanding the Films.

1. Tumbling Down the Rabbit Hole: Knowledge, Reality, and the Pit of Skepticism.

2. Mind and Body in Zion.

3. Are Sentient Machines Possible?.

4. There is No Spoon: Does matter really exist?.

5. Virtual Bodies: The Social Construction of Race and Gender in the Matrix.

6. The Problem is Choice: Control, Free Will, and Causal Determinism.

7. How to Really Bake Your Noodle: Time, Fate, and the Problem of Foreknowledge.

8. Smith's Moral Challenge.

9. De-Cyphering Right and Wrong.

10. Morpheus and the Leap of Faith.

11. Existentialism for Sentient Programs.

12. The Tao of the Code.

13. Overcoming Our Own Matrix.


Cast of Matrix Characters.

Matrix Glossary.

Philosophy Glossary

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2005

    Interesting explanations, but used to push own agenda

    As far as providing explanations to the philisophical aspects of The Matrix trilogy, this book excels. However, the author takes the book a step further and attempts to validate the concept of solipism. It seems to me that this is not only an attack on reason, but an attempt to level the playing field between faith and reason. An attempt to make logic and reason sound as absurd as faith. There is no doubt about it...existence exists. Perception through our sensory organs comes second.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2004

    An outstanding book for even the most casual reader.

    What made The Matrix trilogy so unusual, and so popular, was owed in no small part to the Wackowski brothers¿ ability to mix first rate action and special effects to a thought provoking dramatic plot. Maybe the introduction of thought provoking themes in an action film should not have been surprising considering these two brothers majored in philosophy at one of the most prestigious philosophy programs in the world: the University of Texas, Austin. What I was unprepared for, until reading Lawrence¿s book, was how broad and complex these themes run throughout the trilogy. Lawrence¿s book illuminates in a very insightful and clear manner the philosophical story imbedded in The Matrix trilogy. He does so in such a way that even those with no background in the subject could easily follow along. This is no easy task considering how thick this story gets at points. He certainly has a talent for presenting deep and complex problems in an easy-to-understand and meaningful manner. Not only is it valuable for the most casual reader, but I could also easily envision this book used for a highly stimulating philosophy class (I just wish there was such a class when I was in school).

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