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Like a Splinter in Your Mind: The Philosophy Behind the Matrix Trilogy

ISBN: 978-1-4051-2523-9
236 pages
July 2004, Wiley-Blackwell
Like a Splinter in Your Mind: The Philosophy Behind the Matrix Trilogy (1405125233) cover image
Like a Splinter in Your Mind leads readers through the myriad of philosophical themes within the Matrix trilogy, helping them to gain a better understanding of the films and of philosophy itself.

  • Offers a way into philosophy through the Matrix films.
  • Covers thirteen of the biggest philosophical questions in thirteen self-sufficient chapters suitable for course use.
  • Demonstrates how each of these questions is illustrated through the events and characters of the films.
  • Considers whether sentient machines are possible, and whether we should expect them to face the same existentialist issues that we do.
  • Familiarises readers with key issues in metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, philosophy of mind, race and gender, existentialism, Taoism and mysticism.
  • Includes a chapter that explains some of the technical elements of the films and confusing aspects of the plot.
  • Also includes a Matrix glossary, and a cast of characters and their related symbolism.
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Introduction.

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.

EXTRAS.

Cast of Matrix Characters.

Matrix Glossary.

Philosophy Glossary

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Matt Lawrence is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Long Beach City College.
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  • Offers a way into philosophy through the Matrix films.
  • Covers thirteen of the biggest philosophical questions in thirteen self-sufficient chapters suitable for course use.
  • Demonstrates how each of these questions is illustrated through the events and characters of the films.
  • Considers whether sentient machines are possible, and whether we should expect them to face the same existentialist issues that we do.
  • Familiarises readers with key issues in metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, philosophy of mind, race and gender, existentialism, Taoism and mysticism.
  • Includes a chapter that explains some of the technical elements of the films and confusing aspects of the plot.
  • Also includes a Matrix glossary, and a cast of characters and their related symbolism.
See More
“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)

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