Neo and Aristotle

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.

Aristotle 101: Hylomorphism and the Soul

Aristotle’s understanding of the soul is derived from his theory of substance in The Metaphysics. By way of the hylomorphic combination of body-as-matter and soul-as-form, a unique individual is generated and equipped with the capacity to act in ways that living things act. Is this theory a “middle way” between the view of living things as purely material (where life is a sort of emergent property, dependent on matter), and dualism (the view that the body is is a dependent “container” of a Platonic Form)?