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Existence, Awareness, Causation, Being & Free Will

* How do you know that you exist?
* How do you know that there is an external world? (This question is NOT asking about "extra-terrestrial" worlds; rather, the world outside yourself is at stake).

· Does every event have a cause? Explain.
· What difference does it make if humans have free will?

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Hello. The solution below is a general discussion - it should to get you started in terms of discussing important points demanded by the questions posed. Good luck and thank you for using Brainmass.

OTA 105878/Xenia Jones


How do I know I exist - what determines 'being', what determines existing. This question is among the most fundamental in philosophy along with questions about establishing reality - i.e. how do we know that there is an external world, a world outside of our thoughts, outside of ourselves? Granted, these are very abstract questions and not the questions sort of asked by everybody. One does not just stop in the middle of everything and asks - 'Am I really here? Is this really happening?' We don't because from childhood, when we open our eyes and we see, our senses are wired to give us awareness of being a part of a physical world - the presence of others, the presence of things, of places. When we learn languages and social skills we do not doubt that which we learn or come across because this is not how society works - social dynamics and social structures do not doubt reality and social agents - you and me - move about in it, affecting it, getting affected by it. So, as our identity and ideas of the world forms, our existence has never been doubted even by us primarily because the question of arresting being, of interrogating sense and experience has never come across. This however is the key in Rene Descartes approach and from him I shall take a cue of knowing I exist. Rene Descartes was an Enlightenment philosopher whose work continues to be studied heavily influencing modern philosophy. The Academics dub Rene Descartes (1596-1650) as the "Father of Modern Philosophy". Via his 'Meditations' which also became the title of ...

Solution Summary

The solution is a 2-part 1,173 word essay discussing, from a philosophical viewpoint the notion of being, existence and awareness as well as causation and free will. Included in the discussion are the philosophies of Rene Descartes and St. Thomas Aquinas as well as ethics of faith, determinism and Machiavelli's natural order. References, both web and print, are listed for expansion. The solution is also attached as a word file for easy download and printing.