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cogito ergo sum

riveroaks
Posts: 265
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8/16/2015 4:38:21 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
When I took Philosophy 101 in college, I rolled along reading about the various ancient and more modern philosophers, learning their philosophies and what philosophy is all about. Nothing about this course of study struck me much until we got to Rene Descartes and his own observations about "cogito ergo sum." I discovered for myself that my own perception of existence was directly related to this mental process of human thought. I am a thinking being, and when I close my eyes, I seem to exist somewhere inside my head behind my eyes. Descartes was quite correct -- the only proof of our own existence is our thought process. Descartes was a Frenchman whose portraits vaguely resemble Ringo Starr of Beatles fame. They are both rather goofy looking, however Descartes is extremely smart. My first thoughts about other people who study and discuss philosophy is whether they have also thusly stumbled upon one great philosopher with whom their own thoughts on philosophy resonate? Who is it for you, and why?
Alpha3141
Posts: 154
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8/16/2015 6:55:36 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/16/2015 4:38:21 PM, riveroaks wrote:
When I took Philosophy 101 in college, I rolled along reading about the various ancient and more modern philosophers, learning their philosophies and what philosophy is all about. Nothing about this course of study struck me much until we got to Rene Descartes and his own observations about "cogito ergo sum." I discovered for myself that my own perception of existence was directly related to this mental process of human thought. I am a thinking being, and when I close my eyes, I seem to exist somewhere inside my head behind my eyes. Descartes was quite correct -- the only proof of our own existence is our thought process. Descartes was a Frenchman whose portraits vaguely resemble Ringo Starr of Beatles fame. They are both rather goofy looking, however Descartes is extremely smart. My first thoughts about other people who study and discuss philosophy is whether they have also thusly stumbled upon one great philosopher with whom their own thoughts on philosophy resonate? Who is it for you, and why?

I'm taking a philosophy class this semester, how did you like the class?
riveroaks
Posts: 265
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8/16/2015 11:17:25 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/16/2015 6:55:36 PM, Alpha3141 wrote:
At 8/16/2015 4:38:21 PM, riveroaks wrote:
When I took Philosophy 101 in college, I rolled along reading about the various ancient and more modern philosophers, learning their philosophies and what philosophy is all about. Nothing about this course of study struck me much until we got to Rene Descartes and his own observations about "cogito ergo sum." I discovered for myself that my own perception of existence was directly related to this mental process of human thought. I am a thinking being, and when I close my eyes, I seem to exist somewhere inside my head behind my eyes. Descartes was quite correct -- the only proof of our own existence is our thought process. Descartes was a Frenchman whose portraits vaguely resemble Ringo Starr of Beatles fame. They are both rather goofy looking, however Descartes is extremely smart. My first thoughts about other people who study and discuss philosophy is whether they have also thusly stumbled upon one great philosopher with whom their own thoughts on philosophy resonate? Who is it for you, and why?

I'm taking a philosophy class this semester, how did you like the class?

So you have not met or learned of the various philosophers throughout history yet, so you cannot answer my initial question. I think you will enjoy philosophy as much as any other college class. Obviously you will need to memorize facts and respond to test questions to get a good grade in the course. The grading system is what makes most college and grad school classes uncomfortable and painful. The knowledge that is covered makes them enjoyable and beneficial. Your first class will be a survey class of ancient philosophers, probably starting with the Greeks, probably starting with Thales. These ancient philosophers were trying to deal with rational inquiry into all topics, from social topics to early scientific topics. Then you will cover the medieval philosophers through the Renaissance including Descartes and on through to the modern philosophers. Bertrand Russell during WW1 is one of the modern philosophers that I appreciate. Before your class starts, you should google "philosophy" and read what the Wikipedia has to say about it. Modern philosophy is divided into epistemology, metaphysics, logic, ethics, and aesthetics. There are also additional branches. You should google each of those, read about them, and think about them. Then compare your own ideas to the ancients and moderns and see where you fall out by comparison. Philosophy is key to critical thinking. Without a good, true, viable working philosophy of your own, you will never know whom or what to believe. With a strong philosophy you can then even stand up and prevail against the giants of civilization and the God(s) and justify your agreement or disagreement with any of them.
Epica
Posts: 34
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8/30/2015 10:05:47 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/16/2015 4:38:21 PM, riveroaks wrote:
When I took Philosophy 101 in college, I rolled along reading about the various ancient and more modern philosophers, learning their philosophies and what philosophy is all about. Nothing about this course of study struck me much until we got to Rene Descartes and his own observations about "cogito ergo sum." I discovered for myself that my own perception of existence was directly related to this mental process of human thought. I am a thinking being, and when I close my eyes, I seem to exist somewhere inside my head behind my eyes. Descartes was quite correct -- the only proof of our own existence is our thought process. Descartes was a Frenchman whose portraits vaguely resemble Ringo Starr of Beatles fame. They are both rather goofy looking, however Descartes is extremely smart. My first thoughts about other people who study and discuss philosophy is whether they have also thusly stumbled upon one great philosopher with whom their own thoughts on philosophy resonate? Who is it for you, and why?

I don't think Descartes idea proves what he's attempting to show. Descartes starts with the assumption that there is an evil demon who is tricking him, the only thing he can't doubt is that he is thinking. But the problem is the evil demon can be tricking you when it comes to entailment. You may think thinking entails your existence because the evil demon is making you believe in such a thing making sense, when it really doesn't.

It seems circular to begin with, how can you prove you're thinking? Because you're thinking. There's always an unjustified claim.
riveroaks
Posts: 265
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8/30/2015 11:21:05 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/30/2015 10:05:47 PM, Epica wrote:
At 8/16/2015 4:38:21 PM, riveroaks wrote:
When I took Philosophy 101 in college, I rolled along reading about the various ancient and more modern philosophers, learning their philosophies and what philosophy is all about. Nothing about this course of study struck me much until we got to Rene Descartes and his own observations about "cogito ergo sum." I discovered for myself that my own perception of existence was directly related to this mental process of human thought. I am a thinking being, and when I close my eyes, I seem to exist somewhere inside my head behind my eyes. Descartes was quite correct -- the only proof of our own existence is our thought process. Descartes was a Frenchman whose portraits vaguely resemble Ringo Starr of Beatles fame. They are both rather goofy looking, however Descartes is extremely smart. My first thoughts about other people who study and discuss philosophy is whether they have also thusly stumbled upon one great philosopher with whom their own thoughts on philosophy resonate? Who is it for you, and why?

I don't think Descartes idea proves what he's attempting to show. Descartes starts with the assumption that there is an evil demon who is tricking him, the only thing he can't doubt is that he is thinking. But the problem is the evil demon can be tricking you when it comes to entailment. You may think thinking entails your existence because the evil demon is making you believe in such a thing making sense, when it really doesn't.

It seems circular to begin with, how can you prove you're thinking? Because you're thinking. There's always an unjustified claim.

A slightly more modern formulation of Descartes' rational process would be simply to say:

"I recognize that I myself exist because I undergo thought processes and perceptions of the world and Universe around me. Therefore I must have being, and therefore I must truly exist."

Only an extreme skeptic would doubt their own existence, but that's where Descartes begins his philosophical inquiry.

For me it is easy enough to presume I exist from the nature of my thoughts and feelings and perceptions themselves.

I think, I act, I see, I hear, I feel, I taste -- there is also interaction with others both good and bad -- therefore there is no doubt that I exist.

Maybe it will be different after death, but for now there is definitely existence.

And because of the joy and pain that others around me cause for me, it is clear to me that they exist as well.

It was nice of you to reply, Epica. Therefore you also obviously exist as well.
Epica
Posts: 34
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8/31/2015 1:59:59 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/30/2015 11:21:05 PM, riveroaks wrote:
At 8/30/2015 10:05:47 PM, Epica wrote:
At 8/16/2015 4:38:21 PM, riveroaks wrote:
When I took Philosophy 101 in college, I rolled along reading about the various ancient and more modern philosophers, learning their philosophies and what philosophy is all about. Nothing about this course of study struck me much until we got to Rene Descartes and his own observations about "cogito ergo sum." I discovered for myself that my own perception of existence was directly related to this mental process of human thought. I am a thinking being, and when I close my eyes, I seem to exist somewhere inside my head behind my eyes. Descartes was quite correct -- the only proof of our own existence is our thought process. Descartes was a Frenchman whose portraits vaguely resemble Ringo Starr of Beatles fame. They are both rather goofy looking, however Descartes is extremely smart. My first thoughts about other people who study and discuss philosophy is whether they have also thusly stumbled upon one great philosopher with whom their own thoughts on philosophy resonate? Who is it for you, and why?

I don't think Descartes idea proves what he's attempting to show. Descartes starts with the assumption that there is an evil demon who is tricking him, the only thing he can't doubt is that he is thinking. But the problem is the evil demon can be tricking you when it comes to entailment. You may think thinking entails your existence because the evil demon is making you believe in such a thing making sense, when it really doesn't.

It seems circular to begin with, how can you prove you're thinking? Because you're thinking. There's always an unjustified claim.

A slightly more modern formulation of Descartes' rational process would be simply to say:

"I recognize that I myself exist because I undergo thought processes and perceptions of the world and Universe around me. Therefore I must have being, and therefore I must truly exist."

My problem isn't with the formulation. Descartes is trying to show there is something we cannot doubt whatsoever. But, in doing so he assumes classical logic (modus ponens 1. If I think, then I exist, 2. I think, C: I exist) which can be doubted.
Only an extreme skeptic would doubt their own existence, but that's where Descartes begins his philosophical inquiry.

I never meant to imply otherwise. Descartes used it as a tool, like you said.
For me it is easy enough to presume I exist from the nature of my thoughts and feelings and perceptions themselves.

I think, I act, I see, I hear, I feel, I taste -- there is also interaction with others both good and bad -- therefore there is no doubt that I exist.

Again, the term "therefore" implies the validity of some logical concepts. Which haven't been established.
Maybe it will be different after death, but for now there is definitely existence.

And because of the joy and pain that others around me cause for me, it is clear to me that they exist as well.

I know you probably don't accept this part of Descartes philosophy, but he argued animals don't have consciousness whatsoever. It's a little ironic that he rejected animal consciousness, but stated we can know others have minds in the same way you stated.
It was nice of you to reply, Epica. Therefore you also obviously exist as well.
riveroaks
Posts: 265
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8/31/2015 3:11:42 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/31/2015 1:59:59 AM, Epica wrote:
At 8/30/2015 11:21:05 PM, riveroaks wrote:
At 8/30/2015 10:05:47 PM, Epica wrote:
At 8/16/2015 4:38:21 PM, riveroaks wrote:
When I took Philosophy 101 in college, I rolled along reading about the various ancient and more modern philosophers, learning their philosophies and what philosophy is all about. Nothing about this course of study struck me much until we got to Rene Descartes and his own observations about "cogito ergo sum." I discovered for myself that my own perception of existence was directly related to this mental process of human thought. I am a thinking being, and when I close my eyes, I seem to exist somewhere inside my head behind my eyes. Descartes was quite correct -- the only proof of our own existence is our thought process. Descartes was a Frenchman whose portraits vaguely resemble Ringo Starr of Beatles fame. They are both rather goofy looking, however Descartes is extremely smart. My first thoughts about other people who study and discuss philosophy is whether they have also thusly stumbled upon one great philosopher with whom their own thoughts on philosophy resonate? Who is it for you, and why?

I don't think Descartes idea proves what he's attempting to show. Descartes starts with the assumption that there is an evil demon who is tricking him, the only thing he can't doubt is that he is thinking. But the problem is the evil demon can be tricking you when it comes to entailment. You may think thinking entails your existence because the evil demon is making you believe in such a thing making sense, when it really doesn't.

It seems circular to begin with, how can you prove you're thinking? Because you're thinking. There's always an unjustified claim.

A slightly more modern formulation of Descartes' rational process would be simply to say:

"I recognize that I myself exist because I undergo thought processes and perceptions of the world and Universe around me. Therefore I must have being, and therefore I must truly exist."

My problem isn't with the formulation. Descartes is trying to show there is something we cannot doubt whatsoever. But, in doing so he assumes classical logic (modus ponens 1. If I think, then I exist, 2. I think, C: I exist) which can be doubted.
Only an extreme skeptic would doubt their own existence, but that's where Descartes begins his philosophical inquiry.

I never meant to imply otherwise. Descartes used it as a tool, like you said.
For me it is easy enough to presume I exist from the nature of my thoughts and feelings and perceptions themselves.

I think, I act, I see, I hear, I feel, I taste -- there is also interaction with others both good and bad -- therefore there is no doubt that I exist.

Again, the term "therefore" implies the validity of some logical concepts. Which haven't been established.
Maybe it will be different after death, but for now there is definitely existence.

And because of the joy and pain that others around me cause for me, it is clear to me that they exist as well.

I know you probably don't accept this part of Descartes philosophy, but he argued animals don't have consciousness whatsoever. It's a little ironic that he rejected animal consciousness, but stated we can know others have minds in the same way you stated.
It was nice of you to reply, Epica. Therefore you also obviously exist as well.

I have a cat whom I dearly love. The cat thinks, plans, loves, fears, shows affection, meows plaintively when he wants something, curls up with me in the night, dreams, twitches while he dreams. When he was a kitten he dreamed of nursing. As an adult cat he dreams of running. He is in indoor/outdoor cat.

Surely he has a consciousness.

The only thing I do not know about the cat and about ourselves as humans is whether our consciousness is reborn after we die or if we are escorted somewhere else in the next life if there is one.

The mammals are all alike to me, although some are smarter than others.

Whales, elephants, horses, bears, lions, tigers, panthers, cats, dogs, wolves are all very smart -- just like humans.

Ergo I do not doubt that the animals have consciousness and souls.

I can't prove it either way. But it is convenient for me to accept the premise that they do.