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Jean Baudrillard and The Matrix Trilogy

The extensive literature on the philosophical aspects of The Matrix Trilogy perpetuates a number of highly problematic models for inter-relating philosophy and film texts. This book demonstrates the prevalence of the binary hierarchies of high/low culture, philosophy/film and word/image in much of the philosophical writing on The Matrix Trilogy. These have the effect of ensuring that the films could not make a contribution to philosophy. The author's delineation of a new methodology undermines these binary hierarchies, combining aspects of Kamilla Elliott's work on adaptation and Michèle Le Doeuff's writing on Western philosophy, to show that philosophical and filmic texts are profoundly linked through their reliance on symbolic figuration. Le Doeuff's work on the important conceptual role of imagery within philosophy has also been expanded to provide a means of considering the philosophical implications of the complex figures created by the filmic multitrack. The book traces the ways in which The Matrix Trilogy takes up and transforms Jean Baudrillard's work, thereby creating its own postmodern position. The trilogy addresses a key question arising from Baudrillard's work: is there any possibility of revolution or radical change within a pre-programmed system? The films' positive answer is created through a series of sustained changes to Baudrillard's figures and concepts. The author has shown that the films depart from the singularity that characterises Baudrillard's conception of the hyperreal and the code, offering a series of multiple, different, hyperreal worlds and codes.

Naturalism, will to power, normativity
Mark Olssen

Naturalism in Nietzsche Anglo-American philosophy on Nietzsche has not generally interacted with those writing in the Continental philosophical tradition. 1 Although Nietzsche was a major influence on Foucault, and although Foucault’s friend, Gilles Deleuze, wrote a book on Nietzsche (entitled Nietzsche and Philosophy , 1983 ), very few in the Anglo-American world have engaged with such work. At a conference at the University of Southampton some years ago, Brian Leiter told me he had never read Deleuze’s book, although he added that he had heard it was

in Constructing Foucault’s ethics
Abstract only
Bill Dunn

Introduction This chapter and the next discuss Keynes’s philosophy and politics, particularly with a view to how they influence his economics. The division of these chapters is somewhat arbitrary, and some of the material inevitably leaks between them. Broadly, however, this chapter introduces Keynes’s philosophy, the next his politics, including his views of the state and the inter-state system. Probably more than any major economist since Marx, Keynes thought deeply about political and philosophical issues. He was a sophisticated thinker, close

in Keynes and Marx
Vittorio Bufacchi

There have been as many plagues as wars in history; yet always plagues and wars take people equally by surprise. Albert Camus, The Plague The Roman philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero famously said that ‘to study philosophy is nothing but to prepare one’s self to die’. 1 Cicero wrote this in 45 BCE in a text of philosophical ruminations known as Tusculan Disputations . In the first book of this philosophical treatise Cicero challenges the widely held belief that death is an evil, and thus to be feared. As I write this introduction, death is

in Everything must change
Andrew Bennett

We are ignorant. We are born into and remain in ignorance: this is what we know. And this knowledge of our ignorance is what it means to be human. Socrates, the indigent, know-nothing philosopher who nevertheless promulgated even if he did not invent the oracular dictum ‘know thyself’, also knows that to be human is not to know. 1 To be human, to have a ‘soul’, as Socrates has it in the Phaedo , is to be confined within the prison of the body and thereby to ‘wallow’ in the ‘mire of every sort of ignorance’ – from which it is philosophy’s

in Ignorance
Catherine Constable

1 Good example, bad philosophy T he first part of this chapter will offer a meta-critical analysis of the extensive literature on the philosophical aspects of The Matrix Trilogy, exploring the theoretical assumptions that underpin general conceptions of the ways philosophical and filmic texts can be inter-related. The majority of the writing on the trilogy presents the films as introductions to philosophy, setting out a twotier model in which the films are compared and contrasted with their more eminent primary sources. Importantly, this chapter will

in Adapting philosophy
Kant
Andrew Bowie

1 Modern philosophy and the emergence of aesthetic theory: Kant Self-consciousness, knowledge and freedom The importance attributed to aesthetic questions in recent philosophy becomes easier to grasp if one considers the reasons for the emergence of modern aesthetic theory. Kant’s main work on aesthetics, the ‘third Critique’, the Critique of Judgement (CJ) (1790), forms part of his response to unresolved questions which emerge from his Critique of Pure Reason (CPR) (1781) and Critique of Practical Reason (1787).1 In order to understand the significance of the CJ

in Aesthetics and subjectivity
The impossibility of reason
Author: Mads Qvortrup

This book presents an overview of Jean–Jacques Rousseau's work from a political science perspective. Was Rousseau — the great theorist of the French Revolution—really a conservative? The text argues that the author of ‘The Social Contract’ was a constitutionalist much closer to Madison, Montesquieu, and Locke than to revolutionaries. Outlining his profound opposition to Godless materialism and revolutionary change, this book finds parallels between Rousseau and Burke, as well as showing that Rousseau developed the first modern theory of nationalism. It presents an integrated political analysis of Rousseau's educational, ethical, religious and political writings.

Anja-Silvia Goeing

Conrad Gessner (1516–65) was town physician and lecturer at the Zwinglian reformed lectorium in Zurich. His approach towards the world and mankind was centred on his preoccupation with the human soul, an object of study that had challenged classical writers such as Aristotle and Galen, and which remained as important in post-Reformation debate. Writing commentaries on Aristotles De Anima (On the Soul) was part of early-modern natural philosophy education at university and formed the preparatory step for studying medicine. This article uses the case study of Gessners commentary on De Anima (1563) to explore how Gessners readers prioritised De Animas information. Gessners intention was to provide the students of philosophy and medicine with the most current and comprehensive thinking. His readers responses raise questions about evolving discussions in natural philosophy and medicine that concerned the foundations of preventive healthcare on the one hand, and of anatomically specified pathological medicine on the other, and Gessners part in helping these develop.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Catherine Constable

2 Adapting philosophy/ philosophy as adaptation T he first chapter explored the ways in which philosophical writing on The Matrix Trilogy used categories drawn from adaptation theory, particularly the criterion of fidelity to the original text. This chapter will begin with a brief survey of the philosophical models that inform adaptation theory, focusing on variants of the word/image dichotomy in which the ‘perceptual’ nature of the filmic image renders it necessarily incapable of the complex symbolisation and conceptual abstraction of language. This will be

in Adapting philosophy