Print

Print


En réponse à bnathyuw <[log in to unmask]>:

>
> i don't _think_ you can drop the |quam|, tho you could
> drop the |me| ( with slight resulting ambiguity . . .
> which is actually possibly true to the spirite of
> descartes' original ( except that was in french, |je
> pense donc je suis| )
>

No. The original written by Descartes was in Latin. Like alll scholars of his
time, all his original works were written in Classical Latin (at that time it
was still the language of philosophy and of university. Anybody who wanted to
do a universitary carreer had to learn to write fluenty Latin).

The original Méditations Métaphysiques were thus written in Latin, and
available at first only for other scholars. The French version is a
translation, although I don't remember when it was made (I'll check at home, I
have a book with the original and translated versions :)) ).

As for the original quote, it never contained 'ergo'. The original thing
Descartes wrote is "cogito, sum", translated in French as "je pense, je
suis": "I think, I am" (note the comma). The whole point is that my own
existence is not a logical consequence (like what 'ergo' would imply) of my
thinking. It *is* my thinking! In Descartes's philosophy, thinking and being
are equivalent for the 'ego', the one doing the thinking. His point is that if
you begin to doubt about everything your senses make you feel, there will
always be something you cannot doubt about, it being the fact that you are
doubting. Whatever far you go, you can never deny that you are doing the
doubting, and thus the thinking (well, some do, but it makes it a bit
contradictory to deny what you are doing yourself ;))) ). And thus you cannot
deny your own existence, for without existence you wouldn't be thinking. And as
for the nature of this existence, you at that point know only one thing: you
exist as a thinking being. Thus in this process the equivalence between
thinking and being becomes clear. It's the only firm thing Cartesianism is
based on (well, kind of. To go further, Descartes has to bring up the existence
of God, and his argument for that one is rather weak in my opinion).

So the quote of Descartes "cogito, sum" is not a logical consequence (>) but a
logical equivalence (=). It gives quite a different light on his philosophy
than what people usually think of it :)) .

Christophe.

http://rainbow.conlang.free.fr

Take your life as a movie: do not let anybody else play the leading role.