Descartes ' First Meditations By Rene Descartes

1352 Words Apr 30th, 2015 6 Pages
In René Descartes’ First Meditations, he introduces three main sceptical arguments for the possibility of doubt: illusion, dreaming and error. Descartes’ purpose in his First Meditations is to define knowledge by placing doubt on the sceptical arguments capacity to provide truth. In this essay, I will focus on the argument from dreaming. There are many objections against the argument; therefore I will assess the soundness of the argument and whether it establishes universal doubt based on the plausibility of the objections. Moreover, I will further conclude that it is possible to know if we are dreaming or not at any given moment and that we are not always in a dream.
The argument of dreaming
The principle premise of the argument from dreaming is that there are ‘no sure signs by means of which being awake can be distinguished from being asleep.’ This leads to the premise that one often feels sensations and perceptions similarly to when one is awake. Then, it is possible that we do not know if we are dreaming right now or not. This is a valid argument which attacks all sense-perception and allows us to doubt even the most ordinary and certain things, as you may be dreaming them rather than actually experiencing it.
Objections to the argument
Descartes hypothesizes that we cannot distinguish the state of being in a dream and being awake. As a result, he concludes that our sensory perception is unreliable, and we should strip down our judgement through sensory perception and…
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