January 11, 2014

Cogito ergo sum.
[I think, therefore I am.]
René Descartes
Principles of Philosophy (1644) Part 1, article 7

Simple words, well-known words, perhaps profound words. In any case, words that anyone can think they understand.

They are the key words for the beginning of "modern" philosophy (which, only in philosophy, began four centuries ago). They symbolize the turn towards subjectivity as well as an instance of an indubitable truth.

Many have riffed on these seemingly simple words. Some are listed in the margin to the left. Many of which flow away from Descartes meaning.

But what or who is this "I" who am? It may not be a soul or any kind of lasting being.

There may be part of this "I" of which I am unaware.

Can an animal think this? Why or why not?

But the sentence stands with some force. It moves us to an apparent experience of our own consciouness, and object that is problematic to reconcile with our materialist understanding of many items in our universe as we underatnd it.

Aphorisms

I don't think and therefore I am the way I am.

I think I think so I don't have to think.
(I think therefore I think not.)

I think therefore it is.

I think therefore I am. You respond and therefore you are.

In the morning I begin to think, and therefore, once again, I am.

I think, therefore I am, I think. *

I think, therefore I am in trouble. *

I think — therefore I'm single. - Lizz Winstead

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