It's the questions that drive us. What is real? How do you know what is real? Can we be certain that we are not in a Matrix ourselves? Does free will exist inside the Matrix? Does it exist outside the Matrix? Are our minds just our brains? Are sentient machines possible? Is it ever best to take the blue pill? It's the questions that brought you here. The Matrix films are not just about Kung Fu and special effects. Rather, they are about knowledge, reality, consciousness, freedom, fate, foreknowledge, good, evil, faith, enlightenment, and the very meaning of existence. In short, they are about philosophy - with some impressive special effects on the side. Like a Splinter in Your Mind guides you through thirteen of the core philosophical questions that are explored in the Matrix films. You will see how Morpheus manifests Kierkegaard's philosophy of faith, how Neo, the Merovingian, and Ghost exemplify the three major positions on free will, how the objectivity of value judgments are challenged by Agent Smith, and much more.
Matt Lawrence brings a philosopher's insight to all three of the Matrix films, giving us a better appreciation of the trilogy, and a solid grasp of key issues in metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, philosophy of mind, race and gender, existentialism, Taoism and mysticism. And while his focus is squarely on the films, he also shows us how these questions relate to our own lives and our own philosophical journeys.
"Lawrence's examples enable a reader well-versed in the series to understand the complex philosophical issues and perspectives represented by the various characters and events." (Journal of the Fantastic In the Arts)
"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)
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.