What is Reality? Philosophy and Film – Descartes

Our S3 Pupils are embarking on a Unit looking at different philosophical ideas. Firstly we are starting with some Epistemology, this is the study of knowledge.

We began by thinking about what is knowledge and reality. Do we ever really know anything? How can we trust what we know? This led to some great conversations on things  we thought we knew but actually turned out to be false. For example people believing the world was flat and some people who still believe this to be true.


We then looked at some optical illusions and discussed how our senses can deceive us.

This led us to discuss the work of Rene Descartes. Descartes argued that because our senses have tricked us before it cannot be guaranteed that they would not trick us again. Descartes argued whether it was possible to truly know anything. His conclusion was that the only thing that we could truly know is that we exist. We don’t know if we are being controlled, like a Sim or whether we are dreaming we are humans. This is quite a difficult concept to comprehend. Therefore we are watching the film, The Truman Show to apply this knowledge of Descartes to the concept of reality.



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