Summary Of Bad Dreams Evil Demons And The Experience Machine By Christopher Grau

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In his article entitled “Bad Dreams, Evil Demons, and the Experience Machine: Philosophy and The Matrix,” Christopher Grau presents the connections of the early philosophers ideas and the movie, The Matrix. He says no one person can be certain the reality they live in is true because they do not know if they have ever truly woken up from a dream. For example, the critic notes that people are often unable to tell whether they are awake or dreaming, and that when they are in fact dreaming, they are “blissfully ignorant.” (p. 161) In addition, he presents Rene Descartes, a philosopher and a mathematician, who wanted truths to be proven by reason, such as mathematics, rather than by human senses that are all too often fooling and inaccurate: “he sought, among other things, to provide a foundation for knowledge in which truths arrived at through reason are given priority over knowledge gained from experience.” (p. 161) Also, Grau points out another idea presented by Descartes, the “Malicious Demon,” who has the ability to deceive perceptions which “cause him to go wrong when performing even the simplest acts of reasoning.” (p.162) Next, Grau presents philosopher Jonathan Dancy’s “brain in the vat” hypothesis, the closest skeptical dilemma relating to The…show more content…
In particular, he points out that the brain is suspended in a vat full of liquid in a laboratory, wired to a computer and fed experiences. In contrary, the critic presents philosopher Hilary Putnam, who refutes Dancy’s hypothesis by stating that brains in vats do not exist, because if brains in vats did exist, the thought of brains in vats would not be possible. For example, he notes Putnam’s idea that is someone stated, “I am simply a body stuck in a pod somewhere being fed sensory information by a computer,” (p. 164) is a false statement, because the body referred to is a computer representation being fed into the brain, and not an actual

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