How do You Know You Exist (if You Do)?

How do You Know You Exist (if You Do)? Essay example
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6 pages – 1 source – Harvard Introduction The question of whether we truly exist is one which has led to philosophies that ponder the ideology of how much one exists, if they do. The concept of “I think therefore I am” from the Cogito by Descarte’s is one of the leading philosophies that questions our existence.


The idea of existence is therefore one which is complete truth and is not questioned with the skepticism of one not existing. Conviction of Existence The first concept that Descarte’s points out is that one exists only because they believe they exist. He states: “But I have convinced myself that there is absolutely nothing in the world, no sky, no earth, no mind, no bodies. Does it not follow that I, too, do not exist? No. If I convinced myself of something [or thought anything at all], than I certainly existed” (Descartes, 1984: 16). The main point that Descartes shows is based first on the assumption that the physical does not truly exist. Instead, the things which are seen are from the mind. The existence that one creates is also from the mind and alters according to one’s perception as opposed to true existence. The idea of existence therefore comes from the thought that one exists and is convinced that they are real, as opposed to being a figment of one’s imagination. This particular concept is further pointed out by Descartes with the belief that one is only able to exist because this is what they perceive. If one no longer believes that they exist, then they are unable to truly create an existence and will believe they are wrong in defining their own ability to live and exist. ...
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