Tuesday, 20 October 2009
Monday, 19 October 2009
Sunday, 11 October 2009
Furthermore, if our thoughts exist, then don't we also exist? Our body might not be real, but our thoughts are, which means that - 'I think, therefore I exist'. To quote Descartes: "I am, I exist". If this were to be put in a proper argument form, then it would be:
- Everything that thinks exists.
- I am thinking.
- I am existing.
(In the meditations Descartes never says: "I think therefore I am", but he says it in a response to a criticism). Now Descartes has the foundations for existence, and can begin to build up everything else that must be true, based from the cogito.
So if some wannabe philosopher - after having watched the matrix - asks in a nasally voice: "How can you be sure that you even exist?" Simply reply: "I just think that I do".
Saturday, 10 October 2009
"Nooo, I'll take the jar!"
That's how today, I came home with a fudging big jar (I also put some scones in it before leaving).
Monday, 5 October 2009
Meditation 1 introduces foundationalism, which is a way of thinking whereby: all knowledge (be it things we see, memories or sums) must have some indubitable knowledge to rely on, otherwise something called an infinite regress happens, when you can't be sure of anything. Descartes thinks he can prove foundationalism, by finding some indubitable knowledge, but to do so, he decides to doubt everything that is possible to doubt, and see what is left. This is called the 'method of doubt', and he does this in 4 big doubting sessions, as scrutinising everything individually would take too long. The 4 groups are called 'waves of doubt':
- Our senses may be deceiving us
- He may be insane (Descartes doesn't like this one, as if he were mad then he couldn't put forward a good argument, which alienates his audience)
- This could all be a big dream
- An evil daemon could deceive us to reality
In regards to the senses, Descartes says that there are plenty of tricks that our senses play on us, such as when the moon looks small, but is actually being distorted by perspective, or when you dip a stick in water and it looks bent. just like a friend who has lied to us, we cannot trust them again, and thus; all of our senses could be giving us a false impression of reality.
But if we were to look really closely at a cup, we could be quite sure we are looking at a cup, our senses don't deceive us that much. This is where the possibility of dreaming is brought forward. Descartes claims that sometimes when we dream, we think we are awake, and that even inspecting a cup closely doesn't help, as the cup is just a dream. Everything we see, touch, hear, taste, smell is false in a dream, but isn't it also true that we are not always dreaming? and that we do have experience of reality? Descartes says that he sometimes has dreams that are so alike to reality, that there is the possibility we might not realise when we slip into a dream, and so our whole immediate reality could be false.
However, dreams don't effect many of our thoughts, such as; 1+1=2, as these things must be true even in a dream. But this is where the big fat evil daemon destroys everything. As Descartes believes in god (much like everyone else in those days), he says that - hypothetically - it is equally possible to have an all powerful being, that doesn't love us, and who has fun in deceiving to everything. Because this being is all powerful, he could make us think 1+1=2, when actually 1+1=4. The possibility of the daemon (however absurd) means that EVERYTHING could be doubted. Doesn't it?
Next time: Find out how Descartes saves the day, and finds something indubitable. (clue - "I think therefore I am).
- I bought a milkshake, realised it surpassed my RDA in sugar, so the placebo effect alone got me hyper.
- Got messy in art.
- Did acting in English - due to me being one of the loudest and most irritating in the class, I was chosen for the central role of Dr Faustus. I decided to look important by sitting on a wheelie chair, but when I went to grab a prop dagger, I lost my balance and fell flat on my back, taking the contents of a nearby table with me.
- On the return bus journey we talked about food, then Tamsin & I finally agreed over some music (Newton Falkner is better than Jackass Johnson).
- I made an improvised cymbal stand for my drum kit, which made me feel Uber creative.
Due to the law that; the universe must equalise itself, an Australian has probably chopped off his hand, gotten divorced and fallen down a piranha infested well.