Subject Philosophy Philosophy - Other

Question

Respond to the following prompt:

1. First, watch the following movie The Matrix (1999).

2. Second, reread the SECOND Meditation of Descartes and pay particular attention to what he has to say about the “wax”.

3. Third, write and post an original essay of approximately 500 words in response to the following question:
“In what way, does Descartes’ example of the wax and the film The Matrix shed light upon the problem of reality versus appearances? In particular, what is real?'

Solution Preview

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Descartes’ example of the wax is elegant, yet problematic, I think. He uses something eminently amenable to change – wax responds to heat by changing shape, color, smell, even the sound it makes on contact. Then Descartes asks: if everything we know of the wax, and thus the entirety of how we know the wax, has changed, how do we hold that the resulting object is the very same piece of wax? His answer is that it is precisely not by the changeable properties of the wax that we know it – in the vernacular at hand, it is not by the changing appearances of the wax which present themselves to us via our senses that our minds latch on to the object...

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