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Epistemology is the nature of knowledge. Knowledge is important when considering what is reality and what is deception. The movie �The Matrix� displays a social deception in which Neo, the main character, is caught between what he thought was once reality and a whole new world that controls everything he thought was real. If I were Neo, I would not truly be able to know that I was in the matrix. However, it is rational to believe that I am in the matrix and will eventually enter back into my reality later. The proof that that I can know that I am in the matrix and that I will return to reality comes from the responses of foundationalism, idealism, and pallibalism.
To begin, foundationalism is the essence of what we are certain of. Many philosophers argue on the basis of foundationalism to find out where knowledge begins. This will help determine if Neo would be able to know or not know if he is dreaming up the matrix or in fact that it is reality. The popularity of foundationalism starts with Descartes. He challenged the previously popular skepticism. In Descartes Meditations he discusses many issues relating to the question of �where does knowledge come from?� His main arguments appear in his dreaming argument. He first begins by stating 1. I often have perceptions very much like the ones I usually have in sensation while I am dreaming. Then he goes on to say 2. There are no definite signs to distinguish dream experience from waking experience. These two premises lead to the conclusion that 3. It is possible that I am dreaming right now and that all my perceptions are false. This shows that there is no real way to know to know anything. Descartes add to his argument using foundationalism. ��Throughout my writings I have made it clear that my method imitates that of the architect. When an architect wants to build a house which is stable on ground where there is a sandy topsoil over underlying rock, or clay, or some other firm base, he begins by digging out a set of trenches from which he removes the sand, and anything resting on or mixed in with the sand, so that he can lay his foundations on firm soil. In the same way, I began by taking everything that was doubtful and throwing it out, like sand ... (Replies 7, AT 7:537)� (Lex, Newman)�. This explains how foundationalism works; you must remove all of your doubt to advance to the foundationtion of which you are sure of. This is called the method of doubt. Once you know what you are sure of, you can build up knowledge from there. Many wonder how we can wonder we are not dreaming. Some agree that you cannot feel pain in a dream, but others say they have. The argument that dreams are not related to memory is strong because most people do not remember their dreams. Descartes explains that in a dream you can feel as if you are using all of your senses, but they seem to be more vague than when awake. Descartes struggles with the dream issue until he comes upon his conclusion. ��I now notice that there is a vast difference between [being asleep and being awake], in that dreams are never linked by memory with all the other actions of life as waking experiences are. ... But when I distinctly see where things come from and where and when they come to me, and when I can connect my perceptions of them with the whole of the rest of my life without a break, then I am quite certain that when I encounter these things I am not asleep but awake. (Med. 6, AT 7:89-90)� (Lex, Newman)� This dream argument attributes to how we can know anything. For Neo�s sake it helps him decide weather he is really in the matrix or not.
In addition to foundationalism proving that knowledge is built up from what we are certain of, idealism plays an important role of arguing that all reality is in the mind. Descartes� argument for idealism explains how knowledge of reality is possible. He goes through the process of using an example like a pen and justifying its
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Epistemology, Justification, Foundationalism, Skepticism, Ren Descartes, Certainty, Architect, Dream, Dream argument, Cartesian doubt
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