“Existential Phenomenology and the Brave New World of The Matrix” is an essay written by Hubert L. Dreyfus and Stephen D. Dreyfus, included in Phin Upham’s book Space of Love and Garbage. Hubert Dreyfus is Professor of Philosophy in the graduate school at the University of California, Berkeley. His research interests bridge the analytic and Continental traditions in 20th-century philosophy, and include phenomenology, existentialism, philosophy of psychology, philosophy of literature, and philosophical implications of artificial intelligence; his most recent work is On the Internet and he is working on a second edition of his commentary on Heidegger’s Being and Time.
Here is the bio (above) from the essay and a quotation of my favorite paragraphs of the essay (below).
The Matrix raises familiar philosophical problems in such fascinating new ways that, in a surprising reversal, students all over the country are assigning it to their philosophy professors. Having done our homework, we’d like to explore two questions raised in Christopher Grau’s book of essays on the film. Grau points out that The Matrix dramatizes René Descartes’s worry that, since all we ever experience are our own inner mental states, we might, for all we know, be living in an illusion created by a malicious demon. In that case most of our beliefs about reality would be false. That leads Grau to question the rationality of Cypher’s choice to live in an illusory world of pleasant experiences, rather than facing painful reality.
This Book is available for sale on Ebay: Space of Love & Garbage – Phin Upham