All the pop philosophers will tell you that The Matrix is an allegory of Platonic Dualism. They are all wrong.
Platonic dualism asserts that the soul and the body are distinct, and that the body is wholly dependent upon a transcendent form imposed upon it, when the soul (an instance of that transcendent form) enters it. But if we take the “real world” Neo was initially ignorant of to be the allegory for the body, and the “matrix world” into which Neo was born (and in which he was initially living out a kind of dream) to be the allegory of the soul, then it is not proper Platonism.
The following notes are an attempt at outlining my basic thought process, to document my progress in the study of metaphysical realism, and offer the reader some food for thought. I offer it, as is. If there are any actual arguments in this post, it is purely by accident. If there are any answers to the problem of realism within this text, the reader is free to take them.
A (Very) Brief History of What Is
In this installment of the series on Plato’s Forms, we’ll have a brief look at the major conceptions of the theory, some of the key differences, and dig deep into the one formulation Plato seems to have favored the most. For those of you looking for a thorough discussion of Parmenides’ refutations, you’ll have to wait until the last installment. In keeping with the principle of the first post, the idea here is to just try to understand the theory itself, and the problem it was trying to solve, before we make any move to object to it.
…When in exerting any passion in action, we chuse means insufficient for the designed end, and deceive ourselves in our judgment of causes and effects. Where a passion is neither founded on false suppositions, nor chuses means insufficient for the end, the understanding can neither justify nor condemn it. It is not contrary to reason to prefer the destruction of the whole world to the scratching of my finger. It is not contrary to reason for me to chuse my total ruin, to prevent the least uneasiness of an Indian or person wholly unknown to me.