How do we know the External World is Real?

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How do we know the External World is Real?

I sit here, at the computer, writing this essay, and I think. Is the chair I sit on real? Is the computer I’m typing on real? What proof is there to say that i’m not just the figment of someone’s imagination? What if I’m dreaming it all, and when you finally die, you wake up. These are all questions which most would say are unanswerable. These questions might never be answered, but it is a philosopher’s job to try to decipher as much as they can, and to find out just how real reality is.
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Cogito ergo sum – I think, therefore I am. This philosophical statement was used by René Descartes, and became a fundamental element of Western philosophy. The simple meaning of the phrase is that if someone is wondering whether or not they exist, that is in and of itself proof that they do exist (because, at the very least, there is an "I" who is doing the thinking). This seventeenth century philosopher also, while sitting in front of a crackling fire in his office, questioned the idea of reality itself. If he was sitting in his chair, feeling the ...

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