It’s a question that’s hounded philosophers since they first decided that thinking about things could be a job, ‘do we really exist?’
Well Laura D’Olimpio, a senior lecturer in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame Australia, told the Daily Mail there’s some good news, you definitely do exist – just maybe not in the way you think.
According to D’Olimpio we can be pretty certain in our own existence because you doubt it, and to doubt in the first place means there must be an ‘I’ (you) to do the doubting.
Unfortunately your body, and the world around you, may not be real. You could literally be a brain floating in a jar somewhere.
Got a headache yet or beginning to feel uneasy? Well lets beak it down with a little help from the Wachowskis sisters.
The easiest way to describe it is to imagine The Matrix, and the way Keanu Reeves experiences the simulated world while his body is lay in a pod of unspeakable gunk, powering the machine equivalent of a toaster.
Even though his experiences of the ‘real world’ are all simulated he is in fact alive and does exist, it’s simply his interpretation of the world is wrong and he has no way of knowing it, until he’s given the red pill of course.
Unfortunately as far as this thought experiment goes there’s no Laurence Fishburne coming to help and there’s no way of knowing whether you’re in a similar situation to poor Keanu Reeves, or if you’re just a brain floating in a jar on a shelf somewhere.
Your experiences are shaped by your perceptions and your perceptions can be altered so the reality you believe to exist may not be real.
The only solace you can take is that you exist, let’s just pray that you’re not dreaming this or it means I don’t exist…
More of a concept than a journalist, Tom Percival was forged in the bowels of Salford University from which he emerged grasping a Masters in journalism.
Since then his rise has been described by himself as ‘meteoric’ rising to the esteemed rank of Social Editor at UNILAD as well as working at the BBC, Manchester Evening News, and ITV.
He credits his success to three core techniques, name repetition, personality mirroring, and never breaking off a handshake.