Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course

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Does the world exist outside of the mind? -Erin Mullen

A.  The topic of our individual minds and how they work interests me and leaves me with many questions; some which cannot be answered. My question has to do with the world and if it truly exists outside of our own minds. Does the physical world really exist, or is it all one great illusion? In this case if I believe the world exists only in my mind, you have the same reason to believe that it only exists in your mind. My mind is outside of yours and yours is outside of mine…

The Existence of the Physical World

C. The article I found addresses weather the physical world or if it is an illusion. He also considers the ideas of our minds being controlled by a mad scientist or being stuck in the matrix which I don’t necessarily agree with. He goes on to discuss the ‘common sense answer’ which is that the world is filled with three dimensional objects, each of which has a certain colour, shape, smell etc. The main ideas brought up in this article which helped guide my question were:

  • “some one might want to ask whether we really can assume there is an external world. Perhaps all the places we pass through and people we talk to are just figments of our imagination, as in a dream.” – This is suggesting that individuals as well as objects interact solely within our own mind. This is called Solipsism which technically cannot be disproved.
  • “So if we say that our experiences likely come at least in part from something external to us, where do they come from?” -I found the idea of our experiences coming from something external to us very interesting and persuasive. This is much like Decartes supposition that he is being fed false perceptions by a demon. Thus meaning, there is a physical world which causes experiences however we are deceived by the contents of that world.

D. NEW QUESTIONS:

  1. If we only exist within our minds are we all just dreaming? Am I dreaming?
  2. If our experiences come from something external from us, who is ultimitley controlling our experiences?
  3. What is the meaning of life if we are being controlled by something external?

 

 

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