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Victorias Assignment

Victorias Assignment

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Published by Yotam Cohen

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Published by: Yotam Cohen on Jun 25, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Victoria Ratty6/25/12“I think, therefore I am” is a statement first proposed by French philosopher ReneDescartes sometime in the 1640’s. To be entirely correct, the first thing he said was“dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum” which is a latin statement that directly translates inenglish to “I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am.” The implications of this statementare quite profound and reveal to us a fundamental truth of philosophy. The statementtalks about what it is to be, in other words, the certainty of one’s existence.Existentialism is another whole branch of philosophy by itself but the cogito says that if someone is wondering whether or not he/she exists, in and of itself, is proof that there isan “I” to do the thinking. However, this “I” may not be talking about the person as awhole, but rather an entity. Descartes was a proprietor of dualism, claiming that themind and body are two separate entities joined by the pineal gland. Descartes wouldhave said that the “I” is the mind, and the thought is entirely momentary, meaning thatthe same mind that thought about the cogito might be thinking about something elseentirely the next moment or might not exist the next day.It is interesting to further inspect the cogito and learn what it has to reveal aboutthe nature of existence. Here is one way to look at it: One may consider themselves aliving, thinking, person. This would insinuate that their thoughts are “real” and that their experiences are real. A common mistake is when people assume that the statement isproof that they, as a human person, exist. However, the cogito has severely limitedconclusions that do nothing to prove that one's own body exists, let alone anything elsethat is perceived in the physical universe. It only proves that one's consciousness exists,or the part of the individual that observes oneself doing the doubting and the thinking.

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