From TED, because we don't have enough to worry about.....
How do you know you’re real? Is existence all just a big dream? Has some
mad scientist duped us into simply believing that we exist? James Zucker
investigates all of these questions (and more) in this mind-boggling
tribute to René Descartes’s Meditations on First Philosophy.
René Descartes believed that most
of what he acquired and learned came from the
senses, but his senses had
deceived him in the past. Can you give
an example of when your senses have deceived you?
Is there an experience that
has made you doubt what you have seen or heard?
Could this give you reason to doubt EVERYTHING you have learned from
your senses? Check out this video for some background
on this idea or watch the TED-Ed Lesson How
Optical Illusions Trick Your Brain for one example of how and why your mind
can be tricked into seeing something differently than it is. Would René Descartes agree with the statement
that “things are not always what they seem?" Do you?
Descartes believed that if you
doubt your own existence, you must exist to doubt it! In other words, “I think therefore I
am.” Check out this video to get more
insight into this idea! Some people
believe that this statement proves that the one’s mind exists but not one’s
physical body. What do you think?
René Descartes was an extremely
talented man. A video link is provided here
that describes his
life and philosophy. He was not only a
philosopher but a mathematician as well. Three
links are provided below that will give you more insight into the
life of this man:
Some famous quotes from Descartes
are written below. These may give you an
idea of how he thought and what he believed:
“If you would be a real seeker
after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far
as possible, all things.”
“Let whoever can do so deceive
me, he will never bring it about that I am nothing, so long as I continue to
think I am something."
“The reading of all good books is
like conversation with the finest men of past centuries.”
or are we like the WHOs, who live on a dust cloud, who can only be heard by an elephant's ears?