Matrix and Philosophy: Welcome to the Desert of the Real (Popular Culture and Philosophy Series)

( 11 )

Overview

The Matrix conveys the horror of a false world made of nothing but perceptions. Based on the premise that reality is a dream controlled by malevolent forces, it is one of the most overtly philosophical movies ever to come out of Hollywood. These thought-provoking essays by the same team of young philosophers who created The Simpsons and Philosophy discuss different facets of the primary philosophical puzzle of The Matrix: Can we be sure the world is really there, and if not, what should we do about it? Other ...
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Overview

The Matrix conveys the horror of a false world made of nothing but perceptions. Based on the premise that reality is a dream controlled by malevolent forces, it is one of the most overtly philosophical movies ever to come out of Hollywood. These thought-provoking essays by the same team of young philosophers who created The Simpsons and Philosophy discuss different facets of the primary philosophical puzzle of The Matrix: Can we be sure the world is really there, and if not, what should we do about it? Other chapters address issues of religion, lifestyle, pop culture, the Zeitgeist, the nature of mind and matter, and the reality of fiction.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The many faces of Keanu Reeves as hero Neo-Christ, Buddha, Socrates-are explored in these essays on the philosophical implications of the sci-fi martial arts blockbuster The Matrix, collected by the editor of Seinfeld and Philosophy and The Simpsons and Philosophy. According to the academics assembled here, when messianic hacker Neo kick-boxes the Matrix's virtual-reality dream-prison, he is really struggling with some of mankind's biggest conundrums: the nature of truth and reality, the possibility of free will, the mind-body problem and the alienation of labor in late-capitalist society. The tacit goal here is to make philosophy fun for the general reader by orienting it to pop-culture reference points, so while some articles contain rather dense philosophical jargon, most are pitched at the level of a freshman intro course. But only a few chapters delve into the movie's aesthetics; the rest seem to use The Matrix as a peg on which to hang a canned philosophy lecture. The results are occasionally engaging, as with David Mitsuo Nixon's nifty refutation of the "reality is just an illusion" conceit, but they're too often dryly academic and liable to elicit no more than a drowsy "whoa" from the movie's legions of fans. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812695014
  • Publisher: Open Court Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 9/28/2002
  • Series: Popular Culture and Philosophy
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,404,418
  • Product dimensions: 6.28 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 11 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2013

    To every college student who is struggling with philosophy as I

    To every college student who is struggling with philosophy as I was, this book provides answers to those difficult questions you may be stuck on. This book provides insight into ancient philosophical ideas as well as more modern ones. It breaks them down and applies them to a film most people have seen. Further, if you're like me, it's easier to understand a concept when it's applied to something popular and well known, just like all of the pop culture books. Do yourself a favor and buy this book, it'll put you ahead of all of the others!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2004

    A SHIFT IN REALITY.

    This is an excellent book to read. The author does a great job in covering many of the religious themes that the movie seems to convey in it & the insight on the symbolism in the movie is great as well. You won`t stay (SLEEP) for long after reading this book. It surely will 'AWAKEN YOU' & bring a *SHIFT INTO YOUR REALITY, giving you a better understanding of where many of the conceptual religious/philosphical ideas originated from, that are in the movie. Great stuff. AL L. ANSLEY

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2003

    BRILLIANT BOOK!

    I think everyone, or at least most of the people that saw the matrix and understood it troughly would agree that it is a great movie. Besides all the excellent computer effects, the plot is prety original and innovative unlike most of the hackeneyed hollywood themes. However, this book takes that far beyond explaining and getting into depth of the concepts, ethical and phylosophical issues that it involves. If you liked the matrix you should definately read this book and you'll find out so many more things; you'll end up liking the movie even more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2003

    Rather lame

    Nearly all the articles having to do with the metaphysical belief that states the physical world as illusionary made the common, but foolish, error of making it seem that if the physical world is an illusion then we can walk through walls by just thinking so. It seems to have been written by intellectuals who have very little experience in metaphysical discussion.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2003

    as good as it gets

    Even if you aren`t a matrix additct, it`s viable to get a better understanding of the film, for it portrays much philosophical questioning to be understood. this book is great in some of it`s parts, especially the ones that lead into an easy knowledge of matrix philosophy. although some reviewers don`t have very good articles , they`re still somewhat interesting. A must have, thats all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2003

    Good and Bad

    It's a very good way to get into philosophy (especially if you like the Matrix), but some of the articles are relatively flimsy and poorly written... the one by Jason Holt for example my philosophy professor told me is basically a good example of how NOT to write a philosophy essay/paper.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2003

    Better Than Cliff Notes

    I just loved it. It really helped me understand philosophy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2003

    If you enjoyed the Matrix this is for you...

    I saw the first movie and enjoyed it. The second movie was coming out and it had been four years since I had seen the first one. I happened upon this book in the bookstore and I had always had a slight interest in philosophy, so off to the counter I ran... Seriously though, now I not only have a greater appreciation and understanding for the first movie, but also the second. Anybody who thought that The Matrix Reloaded was to much action and not enough story owes it to themselves to read this book. Yes, I also have a deeper appreciation and understanding of philosophy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2003

    Ok...Ok...

    I saw the movie and I enjoyed it; I did see into it that there were some religious undertones and some remote references to existentialism. I wanted to know if what I read into the movie was common to other viewers. Well! to my surprise, I found so much about the movie that I wanted to know more. I came across a book in my search: "The Matrix and Philosophy..." I was so much into the book that I decided to use the movie in my class in our study of existentialism--I left out the religious references for obvious reasons in the public educational system. But my kids were able to deconstruct the movie after they understood the themes of existentialism. I can only say that I hope the sequel is as profound notwithstanding the special effects.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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