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 --- Christophe Grandsire
<[log in to unmask]> wrote: > 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 :)) .
>

your point on the formation of the cogito probably
explains why i could never come across the original
source when searching for 'cogito ergo sum'

as to the point about equivalence rather than
consequence, i had always taken the |ergo| to mark
rhetorical consequence rather than logical : 'i have
concluded that i think, i can therefore conclude that
i am'. i think i agree that what descartes was on
about was |think==be| rather than |think->be| ( which
of course would allow the possibility of |¬think->be|
which would go against idealism )

as to the original language, the reason i pointed out
that the original was in french was that when i was
studying descartes i wanted to track down the original
text ( in the original language ) and was more than
surprised to discover that it was in french rather
than latin. according to the source i got this from (
and it could well be wrong ) descartes himself went on
to translate the meditations into latin to give the
text an audience wider than that which the french
version could reach ( ie an international educated
audience ). i seem to remember this was published in
the netherlands

this could all be wrong, but it's certainly what the
source said ( which annoyingly i've forgotten ) and i
remember it clearly because i was quite surprised

now, can anyone tell me whether my point about the
latin was correct ? i have a funny feeling about this
. . .

bn

=====
bnathyuw | landan | arR
stamp the sunshine out | angelfish
your tears came like anaesthesia | phèdre

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