Descartes' Argument from Illusion – Essay Example
The paper “Descartes' Argument from Illusion" is a pathetic version of an essay on philosophy. Descartes argued that real knowledge rested in the mind and not in the senses. He believed that there was no definite difference between what happens when one dreams and when he is awake. Descartes also went as far as arguing that in the present it is possible that he is dreaming, yet he is awake. He said that he doubted the existence of the physical world, but he knew that he existed. Descartes believed more in the existence of the mind than that of the physical body. He said that, even though, all that he was experiencing was an illusion, he was certain that what he was experiencing was taking place. He argued that this proved that he exists because he was the one experiencing the illusion.
Epistemology relates to the theory or study of nature and grounds of knowledge with reference to its limits and validity. Empiricism denotes a practice of basing ideas and theories of testing and experience. Empiricists believe that, when it comes to the nature of the world beyond one’s minds, the experience is the sole source of information (Dancy, Ernest and Matthias 38). They define every concept by the use of reason and fact. The main argument is on the basis that dreams and reality are very similar. Epistemology reiterates the fact that most of the human knowledge comes from their senses, and through perception. It argues that the way individuals perceive the world is determined by their understanding of things around them. It points out the importance of considering the evidence before believing anything.
Descartes argues with the question asking how many times, when fast asleep, he is convinced that he is sitting by the fire when in reality he was lying undressed in bed. He argues that there are no signs to distinguish the difference between being asleep from being awake. He says that dreams can be vivid and very convincing. Moreover, he says that one may be dazed, and at that time believing that he is asleep. There is the argument that many times human senses deceive them, and, in fact, those things that they may believe to recognize may be false. There is the notion that dreams borrow from the real world. Descartes argues that though we do not experience these dreams with our real body parts, eyes, limbs, and mouths, they still contain elements that are indeed real. Some of the elements in question are substance, shape, number, and time. He urges us not to be skeptical of our reasoning of dreams because it may cause us to doubt about the world and how we view it, including everything around us.
Sometimes it is indeed confusing when trying to differentiate dreams from reality. This is why we experience countless déjà vu moments in our lifetimes. It has also been strongly argued by many who have dreamt about certain situations or occurrences which eventually have come to pass. It is difficult to determine sometimes how many illusions we had which, in fact, real situations were occurring in actual time. It must be argued again that many times one could have undergone situations where he thought he was dreaming, but abruptly he snaps out of the daze and realize that it was indeed a reality and not an illusion. This goes on to validate Descartes theory. Many times it is indeed very difficult to distinguish between dreams and illusions. In addition, it is indeed difficult to validate whether or not certain occurrences happened or whether they were part of a fantasy that we encountered. Descartes’ argument has much emphasis when we connect it to many human experiences.
The hero in the movie déjà vu illustrates the fact that we use only a fraction of our brain’s potential when we are awake. He goes further to explain that when we are asleep, our mind can do almost anything. He explains how when dreaming, we create and perceive our world simultaneously, and that our mind does this so well that we are not even aware that it is happening. The mind takes over this whole process by taking over the creative part. Dreams feel real when we are in them when we wake up, this is when we feel that there is something strange. He goes on to assert that we never remember the beginning of a dream; however, we get ourselves trapped in the middle of it. The director used slow-motion technology as real-life occurred within the dream. There were explosions occurring in slow motion, still time, as both of them were busy in conversation.