July 6, 2022 at 1:35 am

How Do We Know We Aren’t Dreaming?

by Ashley Dreiling

It’s a question that has puzzled philosophers for ages: How do we actually know we aren’t dreaming right now?

Ted-Ed tosses out a few guesses, from the usual “pinch yourself and if it hurts, you’re awake” to more complicated theories that aim to prove the difference between fantasy and reality. Some say the proof is simple because, in the midst of dreamland, we don’t understand that the experience is not real. However, in a lucid dream, we are aware in real-time that we’re actually asleep.

So, we know life isn’t a lucid dream. We may never have a definitive answer, so maybe the key is to enjoy all the seemingly mundane details of wakeful life while embracing our nightly talks with dolphins while blasting off to space.