There’s nothing like curling up in a Snuggie, a laptop on your lap and a hot lemon and honey tea on your bedside table, to make those unseasonably cold days all the more enjoyable. As I write this, I’m taking a break from reading the first chapter of “Introducing Philosophy to Canadians” by Robert C. Solomon and Douglas McDermid. It’s explaining to me how the practice of philosophy came about, and how it has changed depending on the philosopher we focus on. Thus far, we have gone through the theories of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and now we are focusing on Descartes. It’s interesting to study the different ways in which people have viewed the nature of reality, depending on the facts available and how they supported or contradicted the human experience.
Today’s “words of wisdom” is a phrase I am sure most of you are familiar with, but one that tickles the innate human curiosity without fail every time I think about it:
“I think, therefore I am”
This is a quote taken from the famous french philosopher, René Descartes, as he tried to explain how we can determine our existence. This may be true for people, but what about animals? Plants? Bacteria? They cannot necessarily think, so does that mean they do not exist? Also, what if a person is in a coma? Or they have some kind of brain paralysis that prevents them from thinking. Does it mean that during that time, we do not exist? And finally, what about when we’re sleeping? We dream, but it is not something that we do purposefully, so do we actually exist while we sleep?
It can be rather frightening sometimes to consider the possibility that we may be living within a Matrix, while in reality our bodies are hooked up to machines to be used as biological batteries. And yet some of the greatest stories and movies of all time have come out of envisioning realities that may be possible if certain things were to happen.
That’s all for today. Until next time, happy reading!