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Evaluating The Claims By Descartes On Distinguishing Dreaming From Wake

606 words - 3 pages

Evaluating The Claims By Descartes On Distinguishing Dreaming From Wake.Philosophy: Mind and MetaphysicsDue Date: 13th of August 2012Tutor: James StewartWord Count: 497Student ID: 149529In 'Meditation One', Descartes discusses how there is no way to determine the difference between waking and sleeping. In this essay I will explain Descartes position, along with critiquing his theory.Descartes theory in 'Mediation One' revolves around the idea that senses are the basis for an individual's decision on what it is to determine what is certain (p.1). To ponder the question of whether the state of sleeping can be distinguished from wake (reality), Descartes views no difference in distinguishing one from the other (p.2).While he also admits that one's senses can be deceived, Descartes argues they are ...view middle of the document...

In critiquing Descartes claim, I believe the distinct difference between waking and sleeping is shown through three ways, these are, lucid dreaming, the concept of time & reality and the day-night cycle.Lucid dreaming is the ability (in a dream) to become 'self aware' and conscious enough to realise that one is dreaming and can even control the dream by controlling the consciousness. When awake one does not come to a realisation that they are in a dream. I believe this is because in a dream when events happen they can be odd or abnormal, this triggers the conscious, in a realisation that one is in a dream even though the experience in a dream seems vividly real.Additionally, another distinction between the state of waking and sleeping is that reality (wake) is clear, consistent, and has the concept of time. One is aware of everything when one is awake and time is something that is slow and regularly monitored. In a dream you jump from point to point (dream to dream), it is not consistent and the experiences in a dream can be quite 'abnormal', as dreams are much more abstract than reality. Additionally dreams have no concept of time.The finale distinct difference I believe is between dreaming and waking is the ability to fall asleep and wake up in the same reality. One does not in a dream, consistently, fall asleep in the end of a dream and wake up in reality, it is the opposite. This demonstrates how in reality the same day to night cycle happens and the same routine of sleeping, dreaming and waking is also consistent in reality, whereas in a dream it is not.In sum, when considering the three ways highlighted in this essay, one can distinguish waking from sleep, therefore I believe Descartes theory can be seen as incorrect.ReferencesDescartes, R. (2005) 'Meditation One: Of the things in which We May Doubt'. Retrieved from: http://www.wright.edu/cola/descartes/intro.html

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