Philosophy 114

Introduction to Logic: A Philosophical Critique of Film

Writing Assignment: The Matrix

Length: Two Full Pages, Typed, Double-Spaced

Style: MLA Format

Assignment: Answer the two questions listed below to the best of your ability. Your answers to the questions should be thorough yet precise, using examples from the in-class discussions and the film to strengthen your responses. The final grade on this assignment will be determined by your ability to demonstrate a depth and understanding of the questions posed and by your ability to communicate that through your writing.

Mechanics: In order to be considered for grading, your paper must be at least Two full pages, typed, double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12-point font. You do not need to include outside sources. A Works Cited page is not needed. Good grammar, good spelling, and punctuation, while not specifically used to determine your final grade, are to be assumed. Keep this is mind: An unpolished work will not be an A paper.

Questions: The following questions are based on the philosophical questions raised by the movie The Matrix.

  1. Using Plato’s The Allegory of the Cave as a starting point, discuss what information from the film that each character who was ‘saved’ learned about life once they “walked into the light”. What was the matrix? What was the real reason Morpheus wanted to find Thomas Anderson? What was he searching for? Did Morpheus find ‘it’? For this answer, it would be best to think of Plato’s story as direct allegory meant to represent the trials and tribulations facing humanity and the ultimate struggle for knowledge. What knowledge about humanity and existence did Neo learn and how does he come to terms with that revelation?
  2. In the discussion of fate vs. freewill, discuss the following question: Was Thomas Anderson always Neo? Or did Thomas Anderson become Neo? Was it Thomas Anderson’s fate to become Neo or did Mr. Anderson have to make the decision to become Neo? For this question, keep in mind the Oracle, and the advice she gave to Neo upon his first trip into the Matrix. Is Neo’s essence defined by his actions? Does his essence preceded his ‘existence’? Or does a piece of Neo exist within Thomas Anderson?

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