Rene Descartes ' Dream Argument Essay

1316 Words Nov 21st, 2016 6 Pages
René Descartes’ dream argument supports his overarching argument for hyperbolic doubt, described in his Meditations on First Philosophy. The dream argument questions one’s perceptions, conscious and unconscious, and how one determines what is true and what is false. He does this by comparing experiences while awake or dreaming. Descartes continues on that since one also cannot tell the difference between what is a dream and what is real life, our perceptions could overall be false, and “assumes dreams are deceptive, first, because they are conscious experiences that are subjectively indistinguishable from standard waking experiences and second, because they involve false beliefs” (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). Though the perceptions in our dreams and waking consciousness are very similar, they are distinguishable. There are definite signs in a dream that demonstrate whether one is awake or in a dream. While one is awake he or she has control over his or her decisions he or she may make throughout each experience, but while dreaming, there is no control in the choices made and the dreamer lacks sense of touch. These signs contradict the second premise that one cannot distinguish between experiences, therefore refuting Descartes’ dream argument. René Descartes was born in France in 1596 to a family of mainly doctors and lawyers. As an adolescent, he obtained a solid background of education in the liberal arts, and later received a degree in civil and canon law. After…

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