Descartes: The Dreaming Argument

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“In order to know you are reading this paper right now, you must be able to rule out the possibility that you are dreaming right now. You can’t rule out the possibility that you are dreaming right now. Therefore, you can’t know that you are reading this paper right now.” This argument may seem absolutely insane, but as you read through this paper, you will begin to understand what this argument means and who uses the argument. To begin, I will explain skepticism about the external world. An external world skeptic claims that we cannot know anything about the external world because there are other situations that can explain our circumstances. Our external world can be described as everything besides your mental state, therefore even your …show more content…
Descartes used the dreaming argument when he used the method of doubt to find the structure of knowledge and justification. The majority of people can say that they do not realize they are dreaming when they are. Sometimes, dreams are very realistic. Once a person awakes, he or she will realize it was just a dream. However, is there a way to find out if you are dreaming currently or if you are awake? This is where the dreaming argument comes into play: 1. In order to know anything about the external world, you must be able to rule out the possibility that you are dreaming right now. 2. You can’t rule out the possibility that you are dreaming right now. 3. Therefore, you can’t know anything about the external …show more content…
We cannot know anything about the external world. Our reality may be an illusion. Our minds obviously can create a new world in our dreams, so maybe reading this paper is in a different world and you are really in bed. Our mind isn’t strong enough to distinguish the real world from illusions. When dreaming, our mind believes we are in that situation and it’s surprising when we wake up to realize it was a dream. If dreaming is too hard to understand, there are other ways of thinking about this argument, such as The Matrix and Through the Looking Glass. They all have similar ways of thinking. You may not actually be reading a paper, you may be somewhere else. Until the premises can be proven wrong, this argument stands, as absurd as it may

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