Argument for Dreaming
Rene Descartes – one of the most recognized philosophers of all time has presented us with many arguments in his pursuit to demolish skepticism in his book “Meditations on First Philosophy.” The subject of this paper will be the argument for dreaming which he assesses in said writing. The argument seeks to prove or disprove the fact that one can know that one is not dreaming at any given moment. It is easy to jump to the conclusion that the idea that you are sleeping right now is preposterous – but is it really? In this text I seek to prove that the dream argument is a solid one and cannot in all seriousness be debunked. The arguments for and against will be discussed, both met with criticism and the dream argument will stay standing strong.
First, let us examine the argument more closely. Descartes says in his readings that the knowledge that we have of this world could be all just an illusion due to the fact that we can never really be sure that we are not sleeping – that is the main point of the dream argument. We have all had dreams that have certainly seemed and felt real, so how can we be sure that we are not sleeping and dreaming this very moment? The arguments against it would include the pinch test, the EEG, which measures brain activity while one is asleep, and one that says that if we can remember how or why we got to where we are, if we can trace our steps, then surely we must not be sleeping. All good arguments, but none of them disproves the argument for dreaming as I will prove in the subsequent paragraphs.
Taking into question the pinch test argument I come to realize that I do not know where the idea of it came from – I do not have recollection of it. If I was dreaming right now and pinched myself, then I would wake up, right… and I know that because? It is just something that I have heard sometime somewhere. The fact of the matter is that I have no way of proving whether it is true or not and surely in my dreams far...
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