David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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International Philosophical Quarterly 44 (2):223-238 (2004)
Based on an earlier analysis that tries to show that existence is a real predicate, I now argue that Descartes’s dream and malicious demon arguments are fallacious. An object that stands external to me (i.e., that exists) is the one thing that I cannot produce by my dreams, and, on phenomenological grounds, I am immediately experiencing an existing object right now. Therefore, in accepting that it is a logical possibility that I am dreaming, either I illicitly conflate an existing object and an object of a dream, or Descartes’s claimthat there are never any sure signs by which being awake can be distinguished from being asleep is a presupposed but unfounded premise. Similarly, Descartes’s malicious demon argument must also be rejected
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