Authors: Donna Freitas
To the Hofstra Honors College, where I sometimes teach
Culture & Expression, a course that wakes up my mind
and makes it fly. This trilogy grew out of our readings and
lectures and conversations one semester. And to Warren
Frisina, the dean there, who has always accepted me in all
of my academic and writerly weirdness and made me a part
of this wonderful community.
I will suppose, then . . . that some malignant dÃ¦mon, who is at once exceedingly potent and deceitful, has employed all his artifice to deceive me; I will suppose that the sky, the air, the earth, colors, figures, sounds, and all external things, are nothing better than the illusions of dreams, by means of which this being has laid snares for my credulity; I will consider myself as without hands, eyes, flesh, blood, or any of the senses, and as falsely believing that I am possessed of these . . . just as the captive, who, perchance, was enjoying in his dreams an imaginary liberty, when he begins to suspect that it is but a vision, dreads awakening, and conspires with the agreeable illusions that the deception may be prolonged.
“Of the Things of Which We May Doubt,”
Meditations on First Philosophy