THE THIRD MOMENT: The dream Analogy
- What a brilliant piece of reasoning! As if I Were not a man who sleeps at night and often has all the same experience while sleeping as mad men do when awake _ indeed sometimes even more improbable ones.Oten in my dreams I am convinced of just such familiar events _ that I am sitting by the fire in my dressing-gown _ when in fact I am lying undressed in bed ! Yet right nowmy eyes are certainly wide open when I look at this piece of paper; I shake my head and isn't asleep; when I rub one hand against the other, I do it deliberately and know what I am doing. This wouldn't all happen with such clarity to someone asleep.
- Indeed! As if I didn't remember other occassions when I have been tricked by exactly similar thoughts while asleep! As I think about this more carefully, I realise that there is never any reliable way of distinguishing being awake from being asleep.
- This discovery makes me feel dizzy, which itself reinforce the notion thaI may be asleep! Suppose then that I am dreaming _ it isn't true that I, with my eyes open, am moving my head and stretching out my hands. Suppose, indeed that I don't even have hands or anybody at allL.
THIRD MOMENT: THE DREAM ANALOGY
- Another reason to doubt the totality of sense-reality is the dream argument.
- The meditator however is skeptical that he could be dreaming, thinking that he is awake.
- There is therefore confusion between dreaming and being awake, for, one cannot know that he is dreaming when he is asleep but when he is awake.
- This is the most famous skeptical argument in philosophy which disproves the certitude of existence of bodies outside.
- This because, if one cannot differentiate between dreaming and being awake, the how can he assert the existence of bodies external to himself, such as the body itself, the paper, the sun, among others.
- All external objects then can be doubted, because we could be thinking that we perceive them in reality while we are instead sleeping.
- consequently, the dream argument gives me the reasons to doubt everything.