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A Thought Experiment That Will Change How You Think About Your Existence | René Descartes

Pursuit of Wonder | April 2, 2024
A Thought Experiment That Will Change How You Think About Your Existence | René Descartes

Written by Pursuit of Wonder


This post currently has 50 comments.

  1. @saharte2812

    April 2, 2024 at 10:02 pm

    Who gets to decide this is the absolute most important and all that grandiose claim? So western centric and reductive and assumptions! Wow! This itself shows lack of knowledge of other thinkers , profound philosophers and wisdom seekers of times across the world. It’s dramatic and is so centered on a particular thought of rationality that is extremely colonial and problematic. How ignorant and not humble of you to assume a singular direction to truth. empiricism?? Skeptists? These are old talks and lack contemporary perspectives. I’m so disappointed in this.

  2. @hashling8

    April 2, 2024 at 10:02 pm

    My entire life I questioned my existence, it’s only in the past few years I learned about philosophy and realised I may not be the only one losing my mind, people have already dedicated their entire lives to answering the questions that will likely never be answered but that still doesn’t stop me from thinking about the concept of existence.

  3. @desoconnor7445

    April 2, 2024 at 10:02 pm

    Yes you are ,yes you do think ,no you are not because you think, you are because you are but to the degree you are intelligently creative ,productive and kind in relation to existence…go for that for a month or two 🙏🏿🙏

  4. @davidhuffman4036

    April 2, 2024 at 10:02 pm

    Imagine him during this time period with AI around every corner. It's amazing people thought this way back then. They had no electronics, computers or satellites etc. Our perception of life is embedded in us, rather it's imaginary or reality as we perceive

  5. @michaelward878

    April 2, 2024 at 10:02 pm

    Just think if Descartes had our modern scientific knowledge. Because I am a thinker I have a question for you. What is the most underlying fundamental mechanism in the universe? Based off modern scientific facts I think I know. Another thing. How you think is where what you think comes from. What do you think?

  6. @osmanniazi7888

    April 2, 2024 at 10:02 pm

    I think you can go one step further:
    1 We cannot verify the sensory data from our senses to be real or not manipulated.

    2 Thus we cannot know if the external world exists or if any minds other than ourselves exits.

    3 We cannot even objectively compute a probability for the external world or other minds existing.

    4 We do have sensory data and we do have memories of sensory data.

    5 That data could be real or manipulated.

    6 Our memories can be real or planted.

    7 However, we can analyze our memories.

    8 Analysis of our memories and sensory data can tell us if there is design or manipulation in the perceived/remembered world

    9 However that analysis cannot tell us if the world really exits.

    10 Thus the only objective knowledge we can have about the external world is about design and manipulation.

    All other knowledge is unverifiable.

    11 Thus epistemologically the only objective branch of knowledge is about design or manipulation of the external world.

    12 Thus the most objective knowledge we can have about the external world if there is a manipulator

  7. @lloydwaycott8178

    April 2, 2024 at 10:02 pm

    Um, sorry but aren't you all, (and Descartes), wrong? His whole point was that he found a 'truth' that could not be doubted. Well, I posit that it can be doubted. First, define 'I' in ''I think therefore I am". Because if this is all a simulation then 'I' don't exist as a sentient being, except as an extension of the simulator. Only the simulator exists. Our ''thoughts'' are not ours but his/hers. Now, this may or may not be true, but it does give room for doubt, and the very possibility of doubt was what Descartes was seeking to prove. Thinking does not prove that we exist, it proves that something exists.

  8. @skillakilla9182

    April 2, 2024 at 10:02 pm

    I cannot allow myself to wonder about these things anymore yet I cannot stop consuming this type of information. I know we will never get to know what we really want to know but I wonder why it is so heavy upon our minds when we try to figure it out, as if our simple existence cannot handle the truth and here I go again why ?

  9. @shanaoshiro4906

    April 2, 2024 at 10:02 pm

    I find it hilarious that because he took a quite long and convoluted route to arrive at his conclusion, we are advised to revere him for having acknowledged his own existence as a philosophically sound truth. Imagine this as an announcement of the ultimate breakthrough of consciousness:

    “To all sentient beings and especially to the highest of them all, my fellow human beings— I am pleased to announce that I exist.”

    I get the significance as far as a marking for the evolution of consciousness, but still. Wow. No wonder the western world is so narcissistic.

  10. @elischalk1579

    April 2, 2024 at 10:02 pm

    As a nondualist, i approach this phrase a little differently. Thoughts are largely involuntary; they are a byproduct of the physical brain. I would phrase it more like, I perceive, therefore I am. Or even I am aware, therefore I am.

  11. @ritishify

    April 2, 2024 at 10:02 pm

    I appreciate that he left the sponsor for the end, but it's kind of a buzz-killer. I was immersed in this deep thought and suddenly I am being told that the conclusion is that I should buy whatever he's advertising, lol. It's like it takes importance away from the actual topic of the video. It is a good topic, nevertheless, but I didn't like that transition, however smooth it was (in fact that might've made it even worse, it just looks like a marketing technique, like the whole video was an ad).

  12. @cropdustin6867

    April 2, 2024 at 10:02 pm

    Unless you think you think because you have to think that when you think you think that you actually think when in fact you think because you we're programmed to think you think

  13. @chrisg1234fly

    April 2, 2024 at 10:02 pm

    How do I know my thought is true? Surely the inverse is true, I think, therefore I am not as we do not know whether the brain is physical or just a figment of out imagination.

  14. @HandsomeLongshanks

    April 2, 2024 at 10:02 pm

    9:45 i dont like your explanation of his conclusion as much as i do the one i was taught in college. Descartes wondered where we got the idea of perfection if nothing in our world is perfect and we get ideas from those things around us. If nothing is perfect, where did we get the idea of perfection? God.

    You can disagree with him or not like the explanation i provided but the rational seems a bit easier to follow, at least to me.

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