I THINK therefore I AM

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kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 07:23 pm
@Kielicious,
Kielicious;70920 wrote:
True he said that but when he actually tried to come up with a scenario where he was being fooled by an evil demon, his conclusions came to the idea that he couldnt conceive of himself not existing.


How could anyone conceive of himself as not existing? In order to do so, would he not have to exist? It is, therefore, not a personal thing with Descartes. It is impossible for anyone to conceive himself as not existing.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 07:27 pm
@Kielicious,
Kielicious;70920 wrote:
True he said that but when he actually tried to come up with a scenario where he was being fooled by an evil demon, his conclusions came to the idea that he couldnt conceive of himself not existing.


And, again, in the scenario he presupposes his own existence.

Before we can devise a way to doubt the existence of the self, we have to firmly arrive at what we consider this self to be. Descartes imagined an unchanging, eternal self that exists independently of physical bodies.

If we take this basic concept, we can easily develop doubt. We can start with the simplest of practices: identify the unchanging, eternal self. What is eternal and unchanging about you? Unless we can clearly identify something to play this role as the eternal and unchanging essence, we have no reason to suppose such a self. Descartes fumbled with this, mentioned the pituitary gland, but was ultimately unable to sight anything as eternal and unchanging that is essentially the "I".
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 07:34 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;70927 wrote:
And, again, in the scenario he presupposes his own existence.

Before we can devise a way to doubt the existence of the self, we have to firmly arrive at what we consider this self to be. Descartes imagined an unchanging, eternal self that exists independently of physical bodies.

If we take this basic concept, we can easily develop doubt. We can start with the simplest of practices: identify the unchanging, eternal self. What is eternal and unchanging about you? Unless we can clearly identify something to play this role as the eternal and unchanging essence, we have no reason to suppose such a self. Descartes fumbled with this, mentioned the pituitary gland, but was ultimately unable to sight anything as eternal and unchanging that is essentially the "I".


But Descartes, so far as I can see, presupposed nothing. He simply pointed out that for someone to doubt that he existed it was necessary that he exist. The notion of the the self comes afterward.
 
Kielicious
 
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 07:58 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;70924 wrote:
How could anyone conceive of himself as not existing? In order to do so, would he not have to exist? It is, therefore, not a personal thing with Descartes. It is impossible for anyone to conceive himself as not existing.



Why are you asking me this? That is exactly what I am saying.

---------- Post added at 07:02 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:58 PM ----------

Didymos Thomas;70927 wrote:
And, again, in the scenario he presupposes his own existence.

Before we can devise a way to doubt the existence of the self, we have to firmly arrive at what we consider this self to be. Descartes imagined an unchanging, eternal self that exists independently of physical bodies.



That may be what Descartes thought the "I" or "self" or "soul" was but I am not advocating this. I dont know what the "I" or "self" actually is, perhaps a thinking thing? The "self" probably comes after as Kenneth said. I couldnt tell you to be honest.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 08:31 pm
@Kielicious,
Kielicious;70936 wrote:
Why are you asking me this? That is exactly what I am saying.

---------- Post added at 07:02 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:58 PM ----------



.


Well, because you did not saying that. What you said was that it was impossible for Descartes to conceive himself as non-existent. But what Descartes had in mind was that it was impossible for anyone to conceive of himself as non-existent.
 
richrf
 
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 09:28 pm
@kennethamy,
Hi all,

The most simple are also often the most elegant .. the most profound. Once sentence, is all that is needed.

I THINK therefore I AM.

Thought creates Existence.

Simple. Gorgeous. Beautiful. Profound. And deliciously enigmatic.

It shows you only need a single sentence to express what IS (or at least what might BE. Smile).


One can contemplate it for their whole life.

I THINK therefore I AM.

Consiousness causes collapse (quantum mechanic interpretation)


Rich
 
Kielicious
 
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 11:20 pm
@richrf,



Correct me if I'm wrong but isnt the collapse due to light being shined on the object which in turn disrupts its superposition, not because of our consciousness?

---------- Post added at 10:30 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:20 PM ----------

kennethamy;70945 wrote:
Well, because you did not saying that. What you said was that it was impossible for Descartes to conceive himself as non-existent. But what Descartes had in mind was that it was impossible for anyone to conceive of himself as non-existent.



I suppose it was more implied
 
richrf
 
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 11:32 pm
@Kielicious,
Kielicious;70977 wrote:
Correct me if I'm wrong but isnt the collapse due to light being shined on the object which in turn disrupts its superposition, not because of our consciousness?


There are many interpretation of quantum mechanics. The link that I provide is but one. Here is a quote from the link:

This interpretation attributes the process of wave function collapse (directly, indirectly, or even partially) to consciousness itself.

As for photons (quanta): It's all wrapped up with the craziness of quantum physics. Who knows what they are other than their acknowledged wacky behavior that can be observed as both light and particle. For me, I'll guess that light is wrapped inside the spiraling world of consciousness.


Rich
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 11:38 pm
@richrf,
Why spiral? Is it just because of what Russel said, or is there a different conception?
 
richrf
 
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 12:01 am
@Holiday20310401,
Holiday20310401;70982 wrote:
Why spiral? Is it just because of what Russel said, or is there a different conception?


Spirals (or oscillating waves) are everywhere in nature and are used as metaphors in many ancient philosophical thoughts such as those Heraclitus and Daoism. They can be made by plotting a pendulum.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phase_space

http://www.mcasco.com/images/p3dps.gif

Rich
 
Whoever
 
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 05:06 am
@richrf,
richrf;70832 wrote:
So when Descartes exclaimed I think therefore I am he actually was describing something very, very different from dualism. Instead of being separated, Consciousness and Physical Body are a continuum of the same. All intertwined and connected like waves in an ocean.

I wonder if he realized it and was just afraid to articulate it because of the religious times. Maybe he was misinterpreted? Maybe he didn't even realize it himself. Who knows? But the irony always strikes me as being very amusing and exciting. Rich

It is far from clear that Descartes was a dualist. He says in various places that the mind and body are both two and one. I'd say his position has been widely misunderstood.
 
Dearhtead
 
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 05:14 am
@richrf,
When Descartes says "I think therefore I am" he actually doesn't say "I am" but "
 
Victor Eremita
 
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 05:38 am
@richrf,
Very true that thinking entails existence, but Descartes didn't prove anything. He pretty much expressed a tautology.

In order for me to think in the first place, I have to exist and possess the property of thinking.

And because I exist and possess the property of thinking, well duh I exist. But nothing's been proved, the conclusion is still just a repetition of the premise.
 
Whoever
 
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 05:45 am
@richrf,
If essence cannot think then his 'I' is not essence but must be epiphenomenal on essence, and thus, in a metaphysical sense, not really exist. To me his argument proves that there is a Bradleian centre of experience which thinks it exists, not that anything really exists.

 
Dearhtead
 
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 06:30 am
@Whoever,
Whoever;71027 wrote:
If essence cannot think then his 'I' is not essence but must be epiphenomenal on essence, and thus, in a metaphysical sense, not really exist.


I don't think that you can say that the I -of a human living- doesn't really exist The I really exists, that is to say it is sure that this I is not.

Perhaps you want to say that the reality of the existence is a secondary one (epiphenomenal).
 
Whoever
 
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 06:30 am
@Whoever,
Victor Eremita;71026 wrote:
Very true that thinking entails existence, but Descartes didn't prove anything. He pretty much expressed a tautology.

That was the whole idea.

---------- Post added at 01:37 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:30 PM ----------

Dearhtead;71035 wrote:
I don't think that you can say that the I -of a human living- doesn't really exist The I really exists, that is to say it is sure that this I is not.

Is this what you meant to say - it seems self-contradictory. Or have I misunderstood?

Quote:
Perhaps you want to say that the reality of the existence is a secondary one (epiphenomenal).

Yes. That why I suggested the 'I' does not really exist, rather than that it doesn't exist at all. It would not exist in the same way that money doesn't exist. Perhaps it would be better to say that the concept of personal identity is ultimately dispensible.
 
Dearhtead
 
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 07:03 am
@Whoever,
I just want to say the same thing that you say, id est the reality of the existence is a secondary reality in comparison with the reality (Reality) of the essence.
 
Whoever
 
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 08:39 am
@richrf,
Well, that isn't exactly my view, (I was commenting on Descartes), but it's close enough. Hell, nothing to argue about.
 
richrf
 
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 08:45 am
@Dearhtead,
Existence is a funny thing for me. It appears it is not there unless I make it so. I is that which peers through the Eyes.

When I am asleep I is still there but all sense of the physical I is gone. I had made it vanish in a moment.

Then I wake up and I open my Eyes and I (the physical I) am here.

I THINK therefore I AM. The moment I awake.

Rich
 
de Silentio
 
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 09:48 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;70928 wrote:
But Descartes, so far as I can see, presupposed nothing. He simply pointed out that for someone to doubt that he existed it was necessary that he exist. The notion of the the self comes afterward.


For this to be the case the cogito has to be a performance and not a logical proposition. The only way I can prove my eixsitence by trying to deny it is by thinking and existing. Logic has limited bearing on existence, especially the sipmly logic of the Cogito.


Quote:
Descartes believed that the Cogito was his place to stand which was certain, and absolutely firm, and that, standing in that place, he could build the edifice of certain knowledge and defeat skepticism forever. No playing, no smiles, no Mona Lisas. Just the epistemological theory called, "foundationalism".


This quote is from an earlier post.

It is my understanding that Descartes foundation is ultimately God, and not the cogito. It is the fact that God being good cannot give me false clear and distinct thoughts.

If I am not mistaken, again, this leads Descartes into a circle, known as the Cartesian Circle, in fact.

---------- Post added at 11:51 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:48 AM ----------

Whoever;71019 wrote:
It is far from clear that Descartes was a dualist. He says in various places that the mind and body are both two and one. I'd say his position has been widely misunderstood.


Doesn't he say that I can know my mind without my body, and therefore my mind must be seperate from my body.

Also, doesn't he talk about the mind creating action in the body through the pineal gland. Which seems to separate the two.

Descartes says that the mind requires certain input from the body, but that doesn't make the two equal. The mind is still distinct.
 
 

 
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