Thursday, May 1, 2014

Is Reality Real?

How can we be sure that what we call reality, is itself, real?

Descartes says, "I think, therefore I am." He suggests that he cannot doubt his existence because of the very fact that he is able to think. He never quite concludes that other things are real (or not real), but he himself must be because he is able to doubt those other things and himself.

(Just a little comic relief)

Hume says, "No object ever discovers, by the quality which appear to the senses, either the causes which produced it, or the effects which will arise from it; nor can our reason, unassisted by experience, ever draw any inference concerning real existence and matter of fact." He suggests that our experiences are the center of a reality, and that our senses are the source of those experiences.

Baudrillaud suggests, in the third order of simulacra, that the copy precedes the original or the real.

I think that, on the topic of the simulacra, Descartes and Hume would ask what does it matter? Both Descartes and Hume seem to suggest that our senses are all that we have to determine real from not real. If our senses interpret a simulation as the real, then it is real. I wonder how Baudrillaud would respond?

Are Descartes and Hume correct? If we believe it to be real, does that make it real? We put a value on originality and yet we can't determine the original from the copy. What is reality? Or rather what is the original reality? Does it matter? (It must because we keep talking about it). Descartes and Hume suggest that we can only be certain of ourselves and our experiences, but can we be sure that we can trust ourselves and our experiences? They are all that we have, they say. But maybe our experiences are different than another's experiences. How are we supposed to decipher which is real?

1 comment:

  1. You posed some amazing questions in your posting that I would like to answer one by one…”Are Descartes and Hume correct?” they are famous theorists, so they have got to have a point.

    “If we believe it to be real, does that make it real?” This has got to be one of the most interesting questions you posed. I think if you believe in something strong enough, it can be real to you, but maybe not to the person beside you. Perhaps, it is a sort of love is blind affect? Where, one individual might see or think something (like love) but to another person it is entirely different (not love).

    “We put a value on originality and yet we can't determine the original from the copy. What is reality? Or rather what is the original reality?” I think we all try to shoot for originality, but we can never fully achieve it because all of what we come to find as unique or original is just copying someone else who you thought was unique.

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