Matrix and Philosophy
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Matrix and Philosophy (Popular Culture and Philosophy #3)

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  1,129 ratings  ·  51 reviews
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...more
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Published July 8th 2003 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published August 28th 2002)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,960)
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Andrew Miller
This book discusses the reoccurring philosophical trends and ideas in The Matrix (movie); topics such as, neo-materialism, 'fate', freewill, and nihilism. The idea of nihilism expressed in the matrix pertained to my scientific philosophy on life, and was incredibly interesting to say the least - it really makes you think about real life implications of the 'matrix'. The movie series The Matrix suggests humans’ life is without objective meaning as it portrays Earth and it’s populous as an artific...more
Mike Angelillo
Descartes this...blah, blah, blah,....brain in a vat that...blah, blah, blah. Yeah, I get it. It is just so incredibly dull. Plus the fact that each article is written by a different person (often a student) leads to a lot of repeated themes and authors trying to sound impressive rather than informative and entertaining.

Unlike The Dharma of Star Wars, this book added nothing to the enjoyment of the film.
Geoffrey Sperl
This is a decent review of the first Matrix film, but after watching the second two and seeing what the Wachowskis do to deconstruct the mythology they built in the first movie, this book seems completely out of date. There are discussions of Morpheus's dogma, for example, that don't have the advantage of seeing how his beliefs are challenged in the succeeding films.

As an introduction to philosophy in the trilogy, this is a decent read, but it falls into the trap many academic books do. The acad...more
Laura
I was scared to read this, assuming I wouldn't remember much from my college days. But I'm actually doing quite well, and this is pretty interesting. My favorite in college was philo of the mind, which is totally what the Matrix is about, and probably why I liked the movie so much.

The only thought I've had worth noting at this point is that I just gone done reading a book discussing the concept of false/ignorant happiness (Farenheit 451), and now I'm reading about the Matrix, where you have to d...more
CV Rick
An interesting book which ties lines of philosophical reasoning to the highly symbolic Matrix movie. I thought that parts of it were quite insightful, but too many of the philosophers used the same 4 scenes of the movie to make their point that it became quite repetitive - Trinity bring Neo back to life, the choice of Red or Blue pill, the scene with towers of pod-humans energizing batteries for the AI world, and Cypher's betrayal.

Perhaps different writers could've analyzed different plot eleme...more
Joseph Santiago
This book demonstrated that the questions of philosophy can be as inspiring as the answers to the questions. It had been a long time since I saw the movie and this book has added more depth to the reflection of the story. i found this book to be enjoyable as it take the reader through motive, action, and perspective action through the story line. That prospective action is broken down into examples that could apply to many arguments and questions for one's own life. This was a good read for the...more
Mike Smith
Another entry in the "Popular Culture and Philosophy" series that uses a pop culture phenomenon, in this case the 1999 movie The Matrix, to examine philosophical topics (see also my reviews of books in this series covering the TV show Lost , Monty Python , and Harry Potter ).

Not surprisingly, these essays by a variety of philosophers and academics focus on topics such as the nature of reality, true knowledge, fate, and religion. Generally, the quality of the essays is good and the material is re...more
Jacob Russo
The Matrix and Philosophy: Welcome to the Desert of the Real is a really interesting and fun book. It is about the first Matrix movie and how the Wakowski Brothers incorporated many different aspect of philosophy into the movie. The book examines various scenes from the movie and then explains how they are related to fascinating philosophical concepts. Some of the philosophers that the different authors who contribute to individual parts of the book delve into include: Socrates, Kant, Descartes,...more
Lynne Jamneck
Today, someone txt'd me out of the blue and asked what Neo's name was in The Matrix.

The Matrix and Philosophy: Welcome to the Desert of the Real is a good introduction to some of the more common threads of philosophy. The pop-culture references make it easy for the philosophical layman to get his or her head around tricky concepts like the nature of reality, fate and consciousness, whilst also addressing issues of ethics and morality within the construct of the film.

If you like the Matrix films...more
David
Themes such as fate, free will, nihilism and existentialism are worked through individual authors. The Wachowskis are clearly aware of Plato's allegory of the cave and have thrown in some Aquinas and Descartes for good measure. Some interesting reads.
Anthony Arena
Very interesting read, and as astoundingly astute as Slavoj Zizek is, it took me forever to read his section: great observations, but packed, as usual, like the density of a black hole for content. Not a bad thing, just an observation
The Arcane Master
This is a fairly decent text. Out of all the pop culture and philosophy volumes, this is among the better ones.
The papers presented span over a broad range of philosophical perspectives-from metaphysics to deconstructionism, classical to postmodern.
i particularly appreciate that many of the essays are critical of the film as a work of art philosophy.
A good read if you're the nerdy sort. At least a very basic grasp of philosophy is probably required if you want to enjoy reading it. Otherwise,...more
Maylin
I rarely read non fiction and was a little worried that trying to listen would be difficult. In fact it was very easy. The set up was like a series of radio lectures by different authors.

It may be 'pop' culture but I found it got me thinking and the grey matter is still mulling over things days later - so that's good - right?

I was amazed at the different aspects of Philosophy covered including Plato, Descartes and Zen Buddhism and now feel a burning desire to see the Matrix again.

I will definite...more
Dru
A collection of essays that analyzes philosophy using the film, The Matrix as the common ground. Some just went over my head while others were able to keep my interest. I particularly liked : the religion of the matrix and the problems of pluralism, happiness and cypher's choice: is ignorance bliss?, notes from underground: nihilism and the matrix, the matrix Marx and the coppertop's life....

But if you don't like philosophy or the Matrix, don't come near this book!
Christine
Loved reading this book, as it gives you great insight into the entire concept of the Matrix. Based more on the philosophical concepts and how they could be applied to life as we know it. It is not an easy book to read (Just as with all Philosophy), and you have to read it slowly to digest it all. But if you've got extra time on your hands and want to take a trip "down the rabbit hole" then give it a shot.
Jenny
I was required to read this book for a philosophy course. I'm so glad I actually read this book (I don't always read books for my courses). I couldn't believe how helpful it was in understanding what all the old philosophers were saying. It made it easy to understand through the stories from the Matrix movies. If you're thoroughly confused by philosophy give this book a chance!
Dave
If you liked the Matrix movies and enjoy philosophy this book is for you. Specifically analyzing the Matrix movie with notorious philosophers like Descartes and Plato, this provides an interesting way to learn more about these important men and learn more about some interpretations of the movie. (The author wrote a second book as a follow up which focuses on the sequels).
Meg - A Bookish Affair
This book is a collection of philosophical essays on the Matrix movie. In the very beginning of the book, the author states that every philosophy has a home in the Matrix as so many of the parts of the movie are universal so each of the essays takes a look at different philosophies that the authors believe can be found in the Matrix. This book was just not my cup of tea.
Joe
Saw the Matrix trilogy this past week on AMC and figured I'd check this out. Somewhat interesting but very redundant, revisiting Plato's caves and Decartes Meditations innumerable times. It is a collection of essays covering the same topic so the repetition is understandable. It might make for a nice discussion in a philosophy class.
Andie B
Very interesting, it got me interested in philosophy (it was the first philosophy book I ever read), but I found the essays a bit dry originally and could only really get into it the second time around. This could be due to the difference in my age between the first and second reads, as well.
Neomi
I devoured this book.. Watched the documentary on the Matrix and sat down with this book. It blew my mind.. as an eager philosophy student in college, this was just icing on top. But I also recommend it to anyone who loves The matrix, and wants a better understanding of the themes used.
Kerri
This book had a few excellent chapters--I particularly enjoyed the Buddhist, Christian, and feminist readings of the film. However, as a whole I wasn't entirely impressed. I also thought that the book would delve into all three films, but it only covers the original movie.
Jamie
It's philosophy and film. Why am I not in school anymore?
Oh yeah, I decided to be a grownup.

Movie connection: Duh, only one of the best sci-fi films to come out in decades. As important to Sci-fi and film as Alien(that's right Travis!) was in the 70's.
Radit malasmembaca
two of my most fave subject, what can be better?
the best brain-twisting movies, and
the best brain-twisting knowledge

shows that good movie does not consist of a merely sarcastic humor and mature contents or slashing and gun-bursting scenes
Travis Albrecht
The first few essays seemed a little too elementary but the latter ones discussed some interesting ideas I had not considered. I wonder what these authors would say about their topics after having seen the entire trilogy?
Lou
Sep 17, 2007 Lou rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Philosophers
Shelves: non-fiction
Nice little introduction to philosophy and, of course, if you've seen the movie, the book will make more sense and so will philosophy. You may find yourself in the habit of philosophizing if this book hits the spot!

--Wag--
Spectator4
It was interesting at first, but quickly became repetitive. Ultimately its just a movie...the first was fantastic and the other two not so much. Philosophy was discarded for special effects.
Dustin
Ehh... it's interesting only if you've never read any of the "shadows on the wall" discussions on reality, but other than than it's a pretty weak entry for the "...and Philosophy" series.
Shannon( I WANT TO GO BACK TO PHILMONT!!!)
My grandpa got me interested in the Matrix. He has this book and now i'm reading it because i am very interested in philosophy and want to learm more about the story of the Matrix
Andrew
From a series on pop culture and philosophy. Although I think I learned more about the symbolism in the Matrix than I did about philosophy in this book.
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excellent book 2 12 Nov 17, 2011 06:42PM  
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17870
- B.A. in philosophy, Summa Cum Laude, Fordham University, 1992. Full Presidential Scholarship.

- Dissertation "Harmonizing Hermeneutics: The Normative and Descriptive Approaches, Interpretation and Criticism," Buffalo, 1996, 226 pp. Awarded the Perry Prize for Outstanding Dissertations in Philosophy.

- Ph.D. in philosophy, The State University of New York at Buffalo, June 1, 1996. Presidential Fell...more
More about William Irwin...
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