Descartes Dreaming Argument

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:Philosophy

Document 1

The information that we receive via our senses is accurate, and we can trust our senses without necessarily invoking God's benevolence (2018). Though Descartes dismisses being certain about his location based on former deceit by his senses in a dream, senses give accurate information, and we can separate them from dreams. Critics of the Argument Philosophers like Descartes hypothesize that there is a possibility that all our beliefs can be false illusions and generated by dreams. Dreams are sequential experiences that occur in all people, but these experiences differ from those experienced in waking life. Although dreams convince the dreamer they are functioning in waking life experience; there are some differences to tell dreaming from waking life. According to this argument, Descartes seems to argue that we can see deceptions which means he believes his senses input.

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As much as Descartes argument has some truth that senses can deceive us, it is also true that we can discern these deceptions hence we can trust our senses provided we do so with caution. We can compare trusting our senses to the analogy of trusting a rope when climbing. There is a chance of the rope failing, but we are safe if we know the chance of failing to exist and be careful. We cannot doubt our senses because they occasionally fail as this would be comparable to climbing without the use of safety ropes since they could fail (2018). People and things in the dream word have extraordinary capabilities and can do things out of the registered normal. The dreamland has dead people who walk, people flying and moving at supersonic speeds, politicians tell the truth, and TV characters and cartoons come to live and have conversations with people.

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Strange things do not, however, happen in the waking world that has only room for reality. Activities in the dream world do not seem to be complete, and things always seem to be intermittent with one being caught between several activities. In the waking world, all activities are done to completion. We doubt that there could be a deceiver as the one described by Descartes. Our doubt about the probability of such beings existing undercuts the more significant doubt that this being is supposed to generate. It must be possible for such an evil demon to exist for it to create such high degree of doubt. Descartes does not, however, provide substantial support in his claim of the existence of such an evil demon (2018).

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The argument by Descartes on the evil demon fails to warrant the level of doubt that he claims. Hobbes also associates dreams with the absurdity that is absent in the real world. According to Frankfurt et al. , communication is a crucial way to verify if one is dreaming or in the waking world. Individuals cannot make judgments or communicate during sleep. In dreams, we are not responsible for our moral actions. People cannot judge what cannot speak and as people in the dream world do not communicate, it follows that they cannot also make judgments. The inability to judge means that people in their sleep cannot have mental experiences (83). If one cannot have thoughts when they are asleep, then there is no possibility of being deceived as suggested by Descartes.

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