Once one accepts The Matrix as a generated reality of malicious machines invention then this is Descartes’ First Meditation, or evil demon, a hypothesis that the perceived world might be a comprehensive illusion created to deceive us. The same premise can be found in Hilary Putnam’s brain in a vat scenario proposed in the 1980s.[7] One can make a connection between the premise of The Matrix and Plato’s Allegory of the Cave; once one accepts that The Matrix is an illusion, then the allegory of the cave becomes clear. The allegory is related to Plato’s theory of Forms, which holds that the true essence of an object is not what we perceive with our senses, but rather its quality, and that most people perceive only the shadow of the object and are thus limited to false perception.[6]

Immanuel Kant also has an influence on how the individuals within The Matrix interact with one another and with the system. Kant states in his Critique of Pure Reason that people come to know and explore our world through synthetic means (language, etc.), and thus this makes it rather difficult to discern truth from falsely perceived views. This means we ourselves are our own agents of deceit, and so in order for one to know truth, one must choose to openly pursue truth. One may examine this explicitly in the scene that contains Agent Smith’s monologue about the first version of the Matrix, which was to be a Human Utopia, a perfect world without suffering and with total happiness. Agent Smith exclaims, “it was a disaster. No one accepted the program. Entire crops [of people] were lost.” The machines had to amend their choice of programming in order to make people subservient to them, and so they conceived The Matrix in the image of the 1999’s world. The 1999’s world was far from a utopia, but still humans accepted this over the suffering-less utopia. This is Kantian, because the machines wished to impose a perfect world on humans in an attempt to keep people content to remain completely submissive to the machines, both consciously and subconsciously, but humans are not easy to make content.[107]