Thomas Nagel’s View on Life
Thomas Nagel is a highly intelligent and well-respected American philosopher who wrote the short (10 chapters) introduction to philosophy, “What does it All Mean?” While reading this intriguing brief introduction to philosophy, I couldn’t help but notice how Nagel discusses a variety of thought-provoking questions and theories/ideas regarding how he believes life really is and/or how it is portrayed. For instance, in the chapter titled, “How Do We Know Anything” Thomas Nagel argues that the world we live in is not real. He strongly believes that there is a high possibility that how real we as an individual believe the world is, is simply based on our wild imagination. Later on in Chapter Six, Nagel continues his elucidation of theory on life by arguing that the way we make our decisions is based on “Free Will” which coincidently also happens to be the title of the chapter and then he ends his short introduction to philosophy by presenting to his readers with his final stimulating question, “What is the meaning of life?” Though some may disagree with Nagel’s view on life, on the other hand I cant help but agree with this wise American philosopher and here’s why… Is Anything Real?
When reading Chapter Two of “What does it All Mean?” I couldn’t help but notice how Nagel begins this section off by saying “If you think about it, the inside of your mind is the only thing you can be sure of.” Although some may chose to disagree with Thomas Nagel, I personally do agree with his view on life and the fact that it may not be real. In my opinion, when Nagel suggests that the inside of our mind is the only thing we can be sure of, I believe this is as true as it can be, why you may ask? Well simply because our mind is a very powerful tool in our body that makes everything possible. Our minds do everything for us from just everyday regular thinking and movement to giving us the power to imagine things that sometimes aren’t possible. Is everything that we see, feel, and hear real or is it based on experiences we may have been through in a dream? Since our mind is so powerful I believe that when we dream in our sleep we are creating/predicting what can happen in our near future. This is also known as déjà vu, when you swear that you have seen or experienced something that just happened to you before, but it was just something that you dreamt about before while you were actually sleeping. For example, I remember when I was about twelve years old I must have dreamt about me meeting up with a group of people at the mall and we were having a certain conversation. Then later on in the “real” world, it ended up occurring in real time. When having that certain conversation with the group of friends, I felt a little lost and confused because I could’ve sworn that that had happened before. You see, the thing is that our mind is so unique that when you are dreaming it only lasts a couple of minutes and you have millions of dreams all at once, hence why it’s so difficult for us to remember what exactly we dreamt about the night before. During these millions of dreams you have a night, which in my opinion are what make you think about the difference regarding what is real and what is not. I believe that the experiences that we have in our dreams cause them to become part of our reality because since we already experienced what happened our minds recall back to that dream and assist us make our dreams out into the real world that we perceive to be real. In the end I believe that Nagel is correct on his view of how we know what is the “Real” world,. In other words, I agree with intelligent Thomas Nagel because in reality, we have the power to make things in our lives either a part of our perception of reality or a figment of our imagination. Now, because I know how challenging the thought may be, let me attempt to make it easier for you by asking the question again but in a different way; do you...
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