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what is the basis of our existence? Is the word "Existence" only a kind of our subjective sense? How do we judge existence?

Is the word "Existence" only a kind of our subjective sense? How do we judge existence? Many Philosopher discuss this issue for centuries. So, what is your IDEA?

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    Jan 27 2012: "I think, therefore I exist." - Rene Descartes
    Descartes came up with a model to answer the question of what we know exists by doubting everything. By using this method he came to the conclusion that you can doubt physical objects (as our senses often deceive us) and you can doubt the supernatural (as much fantasies and figments are created by our imagination).
    He found out that the only thing he couldn't doubt was the fact that he was doubting. This doubt is the proof that I exist, for I have to exist to be able to doubt. Therefore I can't doubt that I exist.

    Of course this doesn't conclude that nothing else exists. Descartes only claims that you can't proof that anything else exists.
    • Jan 27 2012: That the predicate demands a subject seems to me to be a point of contention, and I, for one, have my doubts.

      Descartes was superficial.

      SEP
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        Jan 27 2012: Apart from your personal doubt though, can you actually proof to me that anything but I exist? Of course it's reasonable to assume things do exist but, like I said, there's no way to proof it.
        • Jan 28 2012: "There's no way to proof it."

          I agree, to a certain extent, but that wasn't the point of my comment.

          I thought you agreed with descartes position - I think therefore I am.

          But that thinking requires an agent is nothing but an assumption. Descartes' dedication to doubt anything was superficial. He did not doubt grammar's basic structure or if it corresponded to reality. He simply drew a line in the sand and called that the end of infinite regression.

          Do you agree or no?

          SEP
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        Jan 28 2012: Ah I see what you mean now, you are right about that, yes. It doesn't conclude anything about the existence of other objects than me, just that you can't really know.
      • Jan 28 2012: Seth !

        "Descartes was superficial."

        Maybe not, “I am, I exist” is necessarily true each time it is expressed by me, or conceived in my mind.
        What if the sentence "I am" is a report of 'Presence', while full ' Presence ' always slips away in the presence of "I'' ? :)
        It can be described in the language of quantum physics. 'Presence' is a quantum wave of all possibilities and 'I' is a device , an eye of the intelligent observer which resolves by the very act of seeing the wave/particle duality in favour of particle, traps it in time and creates ' reality ' , something that exists and ready to be experienced, while being created, the process in it's deep root level is not divided. 'I' makes sense only in a self created reality. So, ' I' claims for existence and in a way it should."Chicken egg'' question arises, but isn't it always the case ? What do you think ?
        Make no mistake, I don't claim for true understanding, it's just my thoughts :)
    • Jan 28 2012: Well, thanks for your marvelous presentation. I still wanna some more ideas. It seems that you agree with the opinion of Rene Descartes. However, I think his opinion---think, then exist---has a loophole, that is this assertion is based on that thinking and the state of mind musn't be doubted, or say, thinking is surely existed. We can assure that we have no doubt that we are thinking, but others may have doubt on that. So," I think, therefore I exist" seems a biot paradoxical. What's your opinion?
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        Jan 28 2012: Assuming other's exist they would have the same doubt about whether I exist, yes. You are right, it is paradoxical I guess, but I take it for a fact that you can't PROVE whether anything else exists. That doesn't mean I don't believe anything else exists. To me it's (more than) reasonable to believe this is not all an illusion.
        I think you would find the book "The problems of philosophy" by Bertrand Russell interesting.(You can get it here if it's not available in your local bookstore and you want to read it, worldwide free shipping: http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/Problems-Philosophy-Bertrand-Russell/9781604500851)
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      • Jan 30 2012: "Any fool knows we physically exist"

        Are you familiar with the work of George Berkeley?

        Or any Idealist?

        These fools have pretty much shaped Western thought, including Christian doctrine.

        And how do you attack an Idealist position and then reference the 'forces or energies of Intelligence, Wisdom, Understanding..." (your capitalization)?? Do these 'forces' also physically exist, and does any fool know so?

        And - do you have any thoughts concerning my initial criticism of the argument - that to assume an action (whether it is existing or being) requires an agent is fundamentally an assumption and grammatical prejudice? How does the existence of different language structures support/undermine Descartes position that reality must be as his mind conceives it, because God would not overtly deceive him (talk about a leap of faith)?

        SEP
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          Jan 30 2012: I don't know if i'm correctly understood @Bridget but.. i think, that she has right in the meaning of Descartes quote.

          I think that when she wrote "any fool knows we physically exist" she had in mind: that we breathe, we have our biological needs.. you know what i'm trying to say?
          person who is in a coma - also "exist"...

          I think that now.. in all this ours considerations we came to the notion of personal identity...
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      Jan 28 2012: I think you started a topic on which we will never find only one answers ..
      The word "existence" comes from the latin word existere meaning "to appear", "it arise," "to become", or "to be", but literally, it means "to stand out" (ex-being of the Latin prefix for "out" added to the latin verb old, meaning "to stand")..

      I like yours exchange of views, but I think.. I am mostly agree with the statement of Edward's: "If you pinch yourself and it hurts, it is highly likely that you exist, AT LEAST IN A WORLD OF YOUR OWN"!

      For Jean-Paul Sartre, "existence precedes essence" (l'Existence Precede l'essence) so man should take full responsibility for own actions, which may induce in him a sense of loneliness, confusion and danger in the world, fear of death. But is really "exist" means to create yourself? Make your own decisions and be responsible for actions?

      If yes.. what can we tell about people with profound mental retardation? they exhibit no signs of thinking and in no way responsible for their actions, they can not decide for themselves, there is no verbal contact with them..

      I think the word 'existence' may be considered only in an individual way.. and has very broad meaning..

      The Indian philosopher Nagarjuna said that: " 'impermanence' describes existence. It refers to the fact that all conditioned things are in a constant state of flux. In reality there is no thing that ultimately ceases to exist; only the appearance of a thing ceases as it changes from one form to another. Imagine a leaf that falls to the ground and decomposes. While the appearance and relative existence of the leaf ceases, the components that formed the leaf become particulate material that goes on to form new plants.. what exists is in non-existence, because the subject changes"..
      • Jan 30 2012: "Atleast in a world of your own."

        This is the only honest position. There is no logical basis to assume anything, even ourselves, truly exists and is simply not pretense. But that we experience this as reality demands we treat is as such in everything but philosophical debates.

        Fortunately, many of our 'own worlds' typically coincide with others to the point that we can all get along without much disturbance. The problem, as you point out, is that there are some whose 'own world' seems entirely foreign to the great deal of us.

        SEP
    • Jan 29 2012: I guess that was the most direct presentation of existence. Truely, in our mundane life, the only thing we can confirm is that whether we feel the world. It is really hard to eplicit the definition of our existence.
  • Feb 2 2012: While not really an answer, everyone judges existence differently. Some may say others must recognize you for you to exist, some say all you have to do is think, or just believe you exist. As of right now, I don't believe anyone has an absolute answer, we can all throw out our opinions, but there is not one truth as far as I am aware.
  • Feb 1 2012: And all this for what?
    As little as I understand, and as limited in intelligence as I am, existence isn't real?
    Is that it?

    So, should the question be, "I am. Am I?" And don't expect an answer? There is none.
    • Feb 1 2012: the defination of the world "existence" is objective, but making sure existence is a sort of subjective process. So, it is really hard to say that we are existed objectively. I quite agree with Mr. Hicks that we are at least exist in the world of our own.