Descartes's Dreaming Argument

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Zijun Fang PHIL 130 Paper One October 1, 2015 Descartes’s dreaming argument In this essay, I will explain the Descartes’s dreaming argument which stated in his first meditation. Then, I will object the dreaming argument by attacking it first premise in order to show that dreaming argument is not a valid argument. In the end, I will reply to my objection and states the weakness in my objection. In Descartes’s first meditation, he raised an argument about whether or not he can tell he is dreaming when he is dreaming. “How often, asleep at night, am I convinced of just such familiar events – that I am here in my dressing-gown, sitting by the fire – when in fact I am lying undressed in bed!” (First Philosophy, Page 145) The fact that Descartes…show more content…
“As if I did not remember other occasion when I have been tricked by exactly similar thoughts while asleep!” (First philosophy, Page 145) Descartes argued that we could be tricked by the experience that happened in our dream. By concluding all the thoughts, Descartes get his conclusion that he cannot tell whether or not he is dreaming. “Every sensory experience I have ever thought I was having while awake I can also think of myself as…show more content…
As I review the premises in Descartes’s dreaming, I find conflict between the final conclusion and the first premise made by Descartes. The conclusion is he cannot learn anything about external world base on sensory perception. This conclusion also tells that we cannot knows what is dream and how to tell whether or not we are dreaming base on our sensory perception. But in the Descartes’s first premise, he states that you cannot tell whether you are dreaming or not when you are dreaming. The first premise is based on the situation that you are dreaming and you know that you are dreaming. Also the argument starts with the fact that you have the similar experience in your dream as in your waking life. Therefore, in the first place of this argument, you already know whether or not you are dreaming and you know how to distinguish between dream and waking life. So the first premise is doubtable because the conclusion of argument tells us that we cannot tell whether we are dreaming or not. Therefore, the conclusion makes the first premise invalid and make this whole dreaming argument

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