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How does the phrase "I think,therefore i am" prove i(the mind) exists?

 
 
Reply Mon 5 Dec, 2011 12:04 am
I read that the mind has to think do the thinking in the first place therefore it exists but i see this as a "cop out"/"cheat" as it assumes that "whatever thinks exist"-automatically hence if i think i (the mind) exists.However Descartes didn't prove this axiom in the first place he just said so.
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Type: Question • Score: 7 • Views: 4,447 • Replies: 29
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fresco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Dec, 2011 01:03 am
@r3lax187,
Descartes cogito (I think therefore I am) is an axiom and therefore external to any process of "proof". (That's the definition of axiom !) There are many other concepts ideas about "mind" and "self-awareness", which differ from that of Descartes and you can take your pick. But note that "proof" itself is a product of "mind" according to many accounts.
north
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Dec, 2011 05:18 am
it doesn't

because the mind doesn't think

but the mind is aware of thought , for the most part
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Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Dec, 2011 02:29 pm
ohgawd! Not another thread on Cartesian pedantry!
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Dec, 2011 02:47 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
Hehehe . . .
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Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Dec, 2011 05:52 pm
@r3lax187,
I think Nietzche touched on this in Beyond good and evil, when he asked what this "I" doing the thinking was. He was probably not the first to ask that question and definitely not the last.
Descartes was trying to come up with something it wasn't possible to doubt, to serve as a foundation to his philosophy. Perhaps it is the nature of this "I", or perhaps it is the nature of language, but "cogito ergo sum" turned out to be just more assumption.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Dec, 2011 11:15 pm
@Cyracuz,
How about: Thinking there is thinking proves that there is thinking; nothing more.
The notion that there is an agent of thought, an "I think" is an addition, a creation of delusion. To say "I think" is as rational as saying "it rains". They are both functions of grammar, not empirical discoveries.
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Dec, 2011 01:08 pm
@JLNobody,
I agree. Descartes could just as well have said "bunnies", or perhaps, if he wanted to preserve some professional integrity, "existence". That is enough to assert some kind of experience without the added assumption.
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Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Dec, 2011 01:20 am
So Rene Descartes walks into a bar and orders a beer. He sips it thoughtfully and when his glass is empty, the bartender asks, "Would you like another?" Rene thinks it over and says, "I think not," and -- POOF -- he disappears.
0 Replies
 
r3lax187
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Dec, 2011 03:49 pm
@JLNobody,
yeah,its just that this this quote is so overrated than what it actually is.
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coolcubed
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Dec, 2011 05:08 pm
@r3lax187,
He also believed cogni proved the existence of a perfect god...a little off the mark...
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bulldogcoma
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Mar, 2012 12:51 am
@r3lax187,
"I think, therefore I am confused."
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NoSuchThing
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 May, 2012 07:36 pm
@r3lax187,
The keyword is not "Think" but "Am". So what are you?
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Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Jun, 2012 03:40 pm
@r3lax187,
r3lax187 wrote:

I read that the mind has to think do the thinking in the first place therefore it exists but i see this as a "cop out"/"cheat" as it assumes that "whatever thinks exist"-automatically hence if i think i (the mind) exists.However Descartes didn't prove this axiom in the first place he just said so.


There is a difference between defining a given thing from some parameters we have knowledge off and really knowing what it is, and while we don't know what "mind" is, or what "consciousness" is with certainty, we know that we experience it, thus disproving consciousness from consciousnesses seams contradictory...consciousness as a phenomena cannot be disproved, what can be disproved or what may evolve is what we think it represents...So while you may aim at the concept you may not aim at the thing itself.
0 Replies
 
Alan Masterman
 
  2  
Reply Sun 24 Jun, 2012 11:42 am
@fresco,
It's true that Descartes regarded this as axiomatic, but this is very debatable. The difficulty is that the proposition enunciates an antecedent ("I think...") and a consequent ("therefore I am..."). It's better if axioms don't do this. If we accept that "I think" is a proof that "I am", then it's a theorem, not an axiom. And I'm sure you don't need me to tell you that if it's a theorem, Descartes' whole position unravels.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Jun, 2012 12:12 pm
@Alan Masterman,
Precisely. It's a "theorem" resting on pressuppositions. But I think of "axioms" as proof of nothing other than our specifically human tendency (i..e., "hardwiring") to tacitly assume certain conclusions
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Jun, 2012 12:20 pm
@JLNobody,
I itch therefore "I" (the agent of all my itches) am.
north
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Jun, 2012 03:17 pm

because , practably it makes total sense

and still does
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Jun, 2012 03:38 pm
@JLNobody,
Oops! I hope noone thinks I'm serious here. I am making fun of the Cartesian perspective. There is no agent of experience; there is only experiencce. I AM my experience, not something IT is happening to.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Jun, 2012 08:36 pm
@JLNobody,
...easy to agree with that, up to a point, then to agree that "you" are in control of "it" or that any sort of "mind" is in control...as you like to put it that's just guessing or "languaging"...equally you can't quite tell how much more experience is there beyond your own angle of experience or can you ?...bottom line, you are left with "parts" and "experience" in the end of the day..."consciousness" its also more guess work, at least what you think qualifies as description of consciousness...

...the expression "I am the experience" has two ends to it as far as I see it, one in which "you" control what "it" the "experience" is, and another in which the "experience" controls "you"...

...saying both are the same says nothing on where "you" starts and ends, nor anything on what "experience" qualifies for...

...given all that, I suppose after all we have a semantics problem here, rather then a real problem...it could be worse !
 

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