Evaluating The Claims By Descartes On Distinguishing Dreaming From Wake.

Essay by Naomic1University, Bachelor'sB+, October 2014

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Evaluating The Claims By Descartes On Distinguishing Dreaming From Wake.

Philosophy: Mind and Metaphysics

Due Date: 13th of August 2012

Tutor: James Stewart

Word Count: 497

Student ID: 149529


In '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 still the only reference to perceive reality (p.1). He confirms this in his treatise 'Meditation One' where senses of touch (tactile), hearing, smell, sight and taste, are all one uses to distinguish a real truth from a false truth (p.1).

René Descartes states that when dreaming one's senses are deceived, thus leading the mind to be convinced of its certainty (p.1). The argument Descartes makes entails that one cannot tell the difference between the states of waking or sleeping, justified through sensory perception.

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...