I'm something of a doubter too. I even have a soft spot for solipsism. But philosophy for me is about what ifs, choosing various axioms (regardless of whether you believe them - whatever "believe" means) and observing with interest what follows from those axioms. As for the scans being real, no, I do not know whether they are or not. I am much more sure that I, as the experiencer, am real than any external reality or other minds. I brought the scans up because I am so used to defending my position against materialists who seem to take the opposite view.Londoner wrote: ↑Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:24 amAlthough we have that one famous line, the main theme in Descartes is 'I doubt therefore there is a doubter'. So, since he is starting from the position of doubting all perception (which might be a dream, or illusions sent by some demon), he could not accept your idea because he is not yet in the position of knowing that the scans etc. you perceive are real.
In terms of the works I've read, I'm just getting started in my casual interest in philosophy. So far I've been focusing on the works of modern philosophers like Chalmers, Dennett and Hofstadter* as well as a number of other papers and articles online. I confess to not reading Descartes yet, but I have read about him and it seems to me a lot of his ideas were reasonable at the time but might have turned out differently had he been given access to modern scientific knowledge.Londoner wrote: ↑Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:24 amWhen I read Descartes, I do not think 'cogito ergo sum is the core phase we take it to be. (It isn't particularly stressed). The arguments for the reality of the universe, and what sort of thing we are within it, are ones that would have been familiar to any medieval philosopher; a version of the Ontological Argument and so on.
So, I see what you mean but I think it might be better not to link it to Descartes because I think Descartes is linked to a lot of metaphysics that you might not want to go along with.
*Of these three, Chalmers approaches the problems of consciousness the most rigorously and fully, in my opinion, though they each introduce some interesting ideas. I don't necessarily agree with everything Chalmers says but I share his view that materialism is false.