Descartes is best known for the phrase, “I think, therefore I am”; I would argue that we feel, therefore we are. Just as we are a “thinking thing,” we are also a “feeling thing.” Our emotions are clear and distinct. The understanding of an emotional attachment to a physical object is what connects you to the object and external world; therefore, we can assume that the we and the external world exist based on our sense of emotions.
It is easier to be cynical over whether we exist and the external world exists; the refutation of the opposing argument can go many ways. How do we know that our emotions are not deceiving us into believing in an object that isn’t there? One could say it doesn’t matter if the object is an illusion; it still is influencing my emotions and is therefore real. How could you be sure that your feelings can decide for another that the external world exists? People have different feelings towards different things. One can have a completely different emotional tie or response to a physical object. Regardless of the tie or response, one’s feelings are still being affected by the object which proves that one is conscious and connected to the physical object in reality.
Our emotional sense identifies our emotional ties and responses to the external world, and is not insoluble because your emotional response to a physical object is the conclusion ofyou’re your mind’s senses and reason. The intellect grasps what your senses are experiencing and knowledge of existence is gained through the experience. Sensory perception assuredly makes the thought of you thinking concrete, and by thinking; you exist. Descartes states “At all events it is certain that I seem to see light, hear a noise, and feel heat: this cannot be false, and this is what in me is properly called perceiving, which is nothing else than thinking” (Descartes, Med. II). As sensory is excited through encountering experiences of seeing, hearing and feeling, you are aware that you are experiencing these sensations; you are thinking about what you have just experienced and therefore you exist in the external world. Descartes claims that through achieving thoughts from these sensations that he “readily discover(s) that there is nothing more easily or clearly apprehended than my own mind” (Descartes, Med. II). The feeling of apprehension of your own mind springs that your existence in the external world is indubitable.
The proof of our existence in the external world is found in the emotional sense impression. For example, if I am feeling exhausted and need relief, I sit in a chair; the physical object is providing me rest. My sense of emotion is telling me that, if I sit in the chair, I will gain a sense of relief. You may see and physically put yourself in the chair, but the emotional feeling of relief from exhaustion is what provides the evidence that you are conscious and present in reality. The feeling of exhaustion played a major role in using the sense of emotion to declare that, in order to get a feeling of relief, I must sit in the physical object because it brings the feeling I need. If we believe our emotions to be true, then we do not even need to match our appearance to reality. Our emotions are clearly real and guide us towards believing we exist. The appearance is only aesthetic; reality is the moment we feel alive.