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Philosophy of human nature (Essay Sample)

In the First Meditation, Descartes writes: "As I think about this more carefully, I see plainly that there are never any sure signs by means of which being awake can be distinguished from being asleep." (1) What is the point of this claim? What role does it play in the overall argument of the First Meditation? What is the meaning of this reference to sleep and what is the significance of the failure to distinguish between being awake and being asleep? (2) In light of what we have read by Aristotle, try to imagine what Aristotle or someone sympathetic to Aristotle's views on knowledge could respond to the specific claim made by Descartes about our inability to distinguish between being awake and being asleep and to the role that claim plays in Descartes's argument. (3) Present one situation in which you have experience something like Descartes' perplexity here. Note: it must be a situation where you specifically failed to distinguish between something like being awake and being asleep, but it does not have to be a situation in which you literally failed to distinguish between being awake and being asleep. For example, I might have wondered in some specific situation if the happiness I was feeling was genuine or just the result of some sort of self-deception. Be as concrete as possible. source..
Philosophy of Human Nature ((Author's name) (Institution Affiliation) (Course) (Instructor) (Due Date) Question one The point of this claim is to show that it is hard to distinguish whether certain experiences happen in the real world or are a figment of our imagination. Based on the claim, Descartes is convinced that what he might perceive to be real would actually be imagined and that there is no way to differentiate between imagined and real experiences (Descartes, 2017). Dreams are usually a reflection of actual events. There are rarely instances in which a dream is based on an event that is entirely out of this world. Even though certain aspects of a dream could be fictitious, some could still be real, no matter how simple they might be. The claim endorses Descarte earlier argument that the human senses can be deceiving. At first, he was convinced that only an insane person would perceive him/herself differently from what he/she is. However, he later realizes that he also has the same experiences while asleep as an insane person does while awake. In short, this claim introduces Descarte skepticism about what is real and what is imagined. The reference to sleep points to the experiences that are imagined. When one is asleep, the mind begins to create memories and review old ones. These memories are usually similar to our experiences while awake or are based on events that happen or have happened in the real world. Descartes references sleep to argue that some experiences may be real, but it is hard to know since the same experiences could have been imagined while we are asleep. The failure to distinguish between a real experience and a dream indicates that we cannot be certain whether our normal experiences are real or imagined. Question two Aristotle or someone sympathetic to his views on knowledge would not agree with Descartes's claim about the inability to distinguish between being awake and being asleep. Unlike Descartes, Aristotle does not believe that the senses might be deceiving. According to Aristotle, it is through these senses that we acquire knowledge and experiences. This is principally true for both humans and animals. For instance, it is through the sense of sight that humans learn or acquire knowledge about something. Although most times we use our sense of sight to act, other times, we use it merely to learn new things. Therefore, Aristotle believes that it is through our senses that we perceive our surroundings without necessarily doubting whether the objects we perceive are real or imagined. Aristotle would agree that dreams are a mere continuation of our thought process when awake. Additionally, a proponent of Aristotle...
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