Descartes Dream Argument Analysis

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For centuries, philosophers have debated what it means to be human. Many prominent philosophers spent their lives seeking ways to concretize, universalize and understand the human experience and all that comes with it. From Descartes’ dream argument--which claims it is impossible to know the physical world since we cannot be certain we aren’t dreaming--to modern ideas that we may exist in a virtual reality, there is a large body of philosophical works concerned with existence, whether or not we can be sure of it, and the possible implications of the various conclusions, such as existing in a completely illusionary world. At the root of these debates is the question of existence. As defined by Oxford Dictionary, existence is, “the fact or state…show more content…
Descartes answers this question in his own way but it is not his overarching question, he simply seeks certainty. Although it would be highly unethical to try to recreate Avicenna’s experiment, it is a lot more conceivable. Imagine is a person was sedated at birth and at some point in time woke up in a sensory deprivation tank. It takes a certain suspension of disbelief to assume that they would be capable of comprehensive thoughts considering they have no exposure to language but even so, I believe it is likely they would begin to think in whatever way they are capable of, and eventually draw the conclusion that they exist, they are self aware, and they are conscious. Maybe not in those exact words, but it seems plausible. Descartes, on the other hand, decides he doesn’t have a body, based on what I consider a false premise, that is, he believes the physical world is untrustworthy because it is impossible to know if you’re dreaming, at times. While this may be true for him, it is not a universal truth. I too am interested in certainty and what pertains knowledge, but Descartes doesn’t even adequately answer his own question in my view, let alone the more tangible question of whether a person born completely paralyzed, blind, deaf, mute, and void of all sensation, would be aware of their existence. In conclusion, Although I recognize they are pursuing two different thought experiments, Avicenna answers a much more fundamental question and his argument is more logically sound in my opinion; the floating man argument leaves little room for doubt. Therefore, I think his view is ultimately superior to

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