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Mesmerized, Vol 2. O & E, episode 9 “The Equation”

O has made it past Cerberus, and has entered through the gate of the Netherworld, where he meets E.

E hesitates about returning to the material world, because she has doubts about O’s ability to retain belief in his newly realized faith in the “true” nature of reality. She tests him with a metaphysical question: Can you completely trust in what you cannot prove?

From Britannica: The reality of the external world

The problem in early modern philosophy Although sensations (i.e., the conscious experiences that result from stimulation of the sense organs) are mental events, they seem to most people to be a source of information—fallible, perhaps, but in the main reliable—about a nonmental world, the world of material or physical objects, which constitutes the environment of the perceiver. Regarding that “external world,” many philosophers have attempted to answer the following related questions: Is there an external world? If there is, do the senses provide reliable information about it? If they do, do human beings know—or can they come to know—what the external world is like? If they can, what exactly is the source or basis of that knowledge? To attempt to answer such questions is to address the problem of the reality of the external world.

Immanuel Kant (1724–1804), who wrote (in a footnote to the introduction of the second edition [1787] of his Critique of Pure Reason):

“It remains a scandal to philosophy, and to human             reason in general, that it is necessary to take the                 existence of things outside us…merely on faith, and, if     anyone should happen to doubt it, no adequate proof             can be produced to oppose him.”

René Descartes (1596–1650)

“I will suppose that…some malicious demon of the              utmost power and cunning has employed all his                 energies to deceive me.”

In such a case, Descartes decided, what he could be certain of (besides a few self-evident necessary truths, like “1 + 1 = 2” and “Things equal to the same thing are equal to each other”) would be only his own present existence as a thinking, sensing being and his present thoughts and sensations.

By Rich Buckland 02/02/2021 01:35 PM

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