Question #1: Is it a meaningful possibility that the inside of your mind is the only thing that exists -- or that even if there is a world outside your .
mind, it is totally unlike what you believe it to be?.
Descartes" Answer: Decartes would entertain the possibility of solipsism. That is the whole basis for his Meditations, to doubt what he has always believed in order to attempt to prove them to be true. He sets aside his previous beliefs in the external material world until he can discover grounds to believe in them. He does not rely on his senses to prove an outside world because the senses sometimes deceive us. "It is prudent never to trust completely those who have deceived us even once" (Blackburn). .
My Answer: It is impossible to believe that none of your surroundings exist outside your mind. I am not a solipsist, and I do believe there is an external material world. If I did believe in solipsism, then I would not be enrolled in this class because I would not believe that anyone really existed to teach me about .
Philosophy. Our knowledge of the things that do exist and the things that do not exist is based upon and formed by our sensory perceptions and our experiences. Even though our senses do have a tendency to deceive us from time to time, they can be corrected by examining the situation even closer. We do not know anything unless we first experience it. A baby does not know what it is to walk because it has never done it before, but it does know what being hungry is or that someone is holding it. .
A skeptic may argue that what I believe to be my external world has all been formed in my mind. And, since it was formed in my mind, it could very well be a dream. However, a dream as we define it, is something that you have to wake up from. In that case, when you awake from a dream, you then realize that you were previously sleeping. That confirms the idea that you were, in fact, experiencing a dream.