Arguably, one of the main inspirations for the film was the classical Greek philosopher Plato. Plato’s Allegory of the Cave has countless parallels with The Matrix. Plato presents the idea that the world we see is a no more than a shadow of what truly exists in the universe. In The Matrix, this idea is what makes up the entire plot and setting. As the Matrix is a computer program that humans are plugged into, the world they view as “real” is not truly what it seems to be. Those living within the Matrix have never seen the world that exists outside of their perception. Only those that have been removed from the Matrix have ever really seen the real world. It is not to be ignored though that the Matrix is in itself another form of reality. Despite it being merely a simulation, the actions people perform inside the Matrix are recognized by the mind as being completely real. Similar to Plato’s prisoners of the cave, everything you know, regardless of how limited, is a complete reality according to the mind 's perception. Thus, if a person is killed while plugged into the Matrix, they will die in the real world as well because the mind perceives what occurs within the Matrix as “real.” Despite the fact that the films characters have the ability to bend the laws of physics to perform superhuman feats, they cannot resist the mind’s...
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... race of intelligent beings that tyrannizes the humans. The apparent cause and effect seen in the Matrix only appears to make sense and follow a set of physical laws, when in reality it is only created by the God figures. Once this fact has been realized, it does not take long for Neo to defy the laws of physics in the virtual universe.
Another philosopher that did not greatly contribute to The Matrix is Immanuel Kant. This is likely due to the fact that Kant’s ideas conflict with Plato’s, which were the basis for the entire film. Kant believed that human knowledge is limited and that people can never truly understand “the thing in itself,” they can only verify things in regard to their agreement to other ideas that are thought to be true. This ideology clashes with Plato in the sense that it essentially describes the impossibility of humans ever escaping “the cave.”
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