Like a Splinter in Your Mind: Sample Chapter

Blackwell Publishing has just released Like a Splinter in Your Mind: The Philosophy Behind the Matrix Trilogy, by Matt Lawrence. Splinter addresses 13 of the core philosophical issues that appear within in all three films, plus Enter the Matrix and The Animatrix. You’ll see how Morpheus manifests Kierkegaard’s philosophy of faith, how Neo, the Merovingian, and Ghost exemplify the three major positions on free will, how the objectivity of value judgments are challenged by Agent Smith, and much more. Matrix fans are also sure to love the detailed Matrix Glossary and Cast of Characters, which gives a detailed analysis of the symbolism and mythology behind the names.

Splinter Contents:

Introduction:Jacking into the Philosophy Behind the Matrix

Chapter One: Before the Philosophy: Understanding the Films

Chapter Two: Tumbling Down the Rabbit Hole: Knowledge, Reality, and the Pit of Skepticism

Chapter Three: Mind and Body in Zion

Chapter Four: Are Sentient Machines Possible?

Chapter Five: The Problem is Choice: Control, Free Will, and Causal Determinism

Chapter Six: How to Really Bake Your Noodle: Time, Fate, and Foreknowledge

Chapter Seven: Virtual Bodies: The Construction of Race and Gender in the Matrix

Chapter Eight: Agent Smith’s Moral Challenge

Chapter Nine: De-Cyphering Right and Wrong

Chapter Ten: There is No Spoon: Reflections on the Material World

Chapter Eleven: Morpheus and the Leap of Faith

Chapter Twelve: Facing the Absurd: Existentialism for Humans and Programs

Chapter Thirteen: The Tao of the Code

Chapter Fourteen: Overcoming Your Own Matrix

  • Matrix Cast of Characters
  • Matrix Glossary
  • Cast of Philosophers

While Like a Splinter in Your Mind covers some rather esoteric topics, Lawrence promises the most readable, engaging, and complete treatment of the Matrix Trilogy’s philosophical themes to date.

Matt Lawrence is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Long Beach City College in California. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California Santa Cruz, with a B.A. in philosophy, and holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of California Irvine.

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