Dream World And Reality In Descartes-The Dream Argument

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The Challenge of Scepticism -The Dream Argument. Descartes’ ‘Dream Argument’ suggests that we can never really trust our senses to tell the difference between the dream world and reality. In Descartes’ Meditations of First Philosophy (Descartes, 1641), he states he has dreamt he was; “in this particular place, that I was dressed and seated by the fire, whilst in reality I was lying undressed in bed!” (Descartes, 1641) This suggests that in his dream, he believed he was awake when in actual fact, he was asleep and dreaming about being awake, raising the question; how do we differentiate between dreams and reality? Descartes makes an attempt in answering this question, by suggesting the difference is; “what happens in sleep does not appear so clear nor so distinct as does all this.”1 – referring to when he is conscious and alert. However, he continues to reflect on other dreams he has experienced where they have been so realistic, he would wake up surprised to find he had actually been asleep. Descartes himself said the more he considered the possibility of reality and dream interconnecting, the more “lost in astonishment” he became. While we are dreaming, in that moment, what we see, hear and do is real to us. So can we really ever be certain that this is reality? I will…show more content…
Dreams in which people fly, animals talk and lizards rule the world, may feel real in the whilst the person is dreaming, but when one has re-entered the real world, they can only laugh at the ridiculousness of their imagination. Thomas Hobbes speaks of this in his book Leviathan (Hobbes, 1988) he says, “I often observe the absurdity of dreams, but never dream of the absurdities of my waking thoughts, I am well satisfied that, being awake, I know I dream not; though when I dream, I think myself
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