Rene Descartes

5/11/2012 DK 0 Comments

Rene Descartes (Source)
In Meditations on First Philosophy (3rd ed.): Meditations on first philosophy in which the existence of God and the distinction between the soul and the body are demonstrated

How often does my evening slumber persuade me of such ordinary things as these: that I am here, clothed in my dressing gown, seated next to the fireplace - when in fact I am lying undressed in bed! But right now my eyes are certainly wide awake when I gaze upon this sheet of paper. This head which I am shaking is not heavy with sleep. I extend this hand consciously and deliberately, and I feel it. Such things would not be so distinct for someone who is asleep. As if I did not recall having been deceived on other occasions even by similar thoughts in my dreams! As I consider these matters more carefully, I see so plainly that there are no definitive signs by which to distinguish being awake from being asleep.
(Translated from the Latin by Donald A. Cress)

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