Descartes 'Dreaming Argument'

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The dreaming argument
The dream argument claims that the act of dreaming provides an intuitive evidence that cannot be distinguished from those that our senses give us when we are in the waking state, and for this reason, we cannot give full credit to the senses we use to distinguish reality from illusion. Consequently, any experience from our senses should at least be considered carefully and rigorously tested to determine if it really refers to reality. In this essay, I will argue that Descartes’s Dream Argument proves that we cannot gain knowledge through the senses because senses are often deceiving and cannot be fully trusted. Our senses are our primary way of interacting with the world, they give us a raw information about what is present …show more content…

After all, it seems kind of meaningless to ask whether we can know anything since it is obvious we do. It is even sillier when you consider that to even ask the question, you must assume you know something. But most adults tend not to ask what knowledge is before they can evaluate whether they have it or not. We just claim to know things and most of us, I presume, are comfortable with that. But in order to claim to know something, a person should be able to meet three conditions; believing the statement to be true, the statement is in fact true and the person is justified in believing the statement to be true.

There are significant ways in which our knowledge is gained. In some cases, sense experience alone can provide knowledge but only on certain grounds. In other cases, the content of our knowledge outstrips the information that sense experience can provide and we need reason in some form to provide an additional information. In the dream argument Descartes states that the act of …show more content…

Unless he could be absolutely certain of something he would refuse to accept it as a basis for true knowledge. And that is precisely the case; the grass is not green, the color is only an effect of light on our sensory system; the color is relative to our perceptual system. Other species perceive the world differently. The sky is not blue, the blue color is not his, and it is only a second quality, resulting from the presence of water vapor in the atmosphere, which refracts sunlight. When I perceive an object, I believe it is a real object because of my perception; while when I imagine that I alone build an image, the perception could be similar to the imagination. Let us remember that Descartes does not convince us that we live in a world of illusion; skepticism is for him a stage. But the possibility of this illusion questions the reliability of sensitive knowledge as a whole including sensations that relate to closer objects. The dream argument is remarkable because it calls into question the sensible knowledge as a whole, even in the most everyday situations. And one cannot dismiss the argument as madness; because the dream is a normal hallucination. Descartes’s argument may seem extravagant, but can you prove that you do not dream forever? If this is not

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