Author: katodio

CHUANG TZU'S BUTTERFLY- -a conundrum [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2004-6-12 10:21:41 |Display all floors

dubito ego cogito

descartes' phrase is in Latin, a language in which "sum" means "I am"

    Close, but no cigar

  p.s. the verb is ESSE, "to be".
          SUM is the first-person singular form

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Post time 2004-6-13 09:25:39 |Display all floors

OK then ...

I percieve, therefore, I am

I believe that translating 'cogito' as 'think' is an entymological mistake.

cogito -

All of these derivations has to do with perception, not thinking.

Am open to rebuttal :)

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Post time 2004-6-14 22:28:49 |Display all floors


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Post time 2004-6-14 22:41:15 |Display all floors

to THIRDROCK- -a partial concurrence

perception establishes existence, but not  consciousness.  insects have eyes.

      "recognition" is certainly about perception,  but "cogitate" is not.  etymology is a subject  near and dear to my heart, and one which can provide powerful tools for unearthing the deep meaning of words in modern languages.  "cogito" is Latin, but in this instance it was being used by a 17th century frenchman.  if the goal is to figure out exactly what descartes intended to say,  the current meaings of english words derived from "cogito" is not.  as far as i know, descartes did not speak english, and even if he did,  almost all english nouns and verbs change their meaning in 300 years

     rebuttal and/or comment welcome

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Post time 2004-6-15 07:34:10 |Display all floors

you are right

Look at the context. Yes, Descarte was a Frenchman, who usually wrote in French, but wrote this phrase in Latin. English words change within 50 years too. "Sophisticated" has been used as both an insult and a compliment in the last 50 years. And of course, in "Through the Looking Glass", the Queen of Hearts states "When I use a word, it means whatever I want it to mean."

So for what Descarte's really mean't by that phrase, one needs to look at Descartes philosophy as a whole, to place it in context.  To paraphrase, 95% of everything that you are told can bed discarded immediately as nonsense, the other 5% can be examined rigourously to determine it's truth or utility, and once you have satisfied your own belief system/methodology , then it is true to you, regardless of it's external truth. That is, if you percieve it to be true, then it is, and that is it's whole truth. It has no other truth outside of that. (Existentialist thinking).

It's probably worth noting that Descarte was expelled from France for his heresy, and that he snuck back in on occasion in disguise to make a lot of money at the casinos.

In this context, I claim that Descarte phrased that statement in Latin in order for their to be ambiguity of it's meaning, but in accordance with his broader philosophy, I say that "cogito" is best translated as "percieve".

Coming back to "sum", how is "totality" and "I am" any different?

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Post time 2004-6-16 05:32:26 |Display all floors

Roll the dice

You know more about  descartes the man than i do and  my exposure to his thought occurred quite a while ago (not the 17th century though) SO at my first opportunity i'll  go to the library and see what i can see.

By the way, the great russian novelist dostoevsky was a compulsive gambler.  some of his best works were written very hastily in a desperate attempt to pay gambling debts.

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Post time 2004-6-17 15:19:43 |Display all floors

To: thirdrock - right

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