The current story arc in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (AoS) uses a computer-generated artificial environment called The Framework to explore what might have happened if Hydra had succeeded in taking over S.H.I.E.L.D. Besides giving us the opportunity to see some of our favorite heroes at their worst, the story also raises interesting philosophical problems, questions that were anticipated centuries ago by philosophers like René Descartes. Specifically, the Hydra story explores problems associated with epistemology, or the study of what we can know and how we can know it.

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