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Yiran Wang

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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?

Topics: HUMAN existence
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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.

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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)?

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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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