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Cogito, ergo sum je pense, donc je suis in his Discourse on the Method , so as to reach a wider audience than Latin would have allowed. It appeared in Latin in his later Principles of Philosophy . As Descartes explained, "we cannot doubt of our existence while we doubt...." A fuller version, articulated by Antoine Léonard Thomas, aptly captures Descartes's intent: dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum ("I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am"). The concept is also sometimes known as the cogito.is a Latin philosophical proposition by René Descartes usually translated into English as "I think, therefore I am". The phrase originally appeared in French as
Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet.
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental questions about existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed as problems to be studied or resolved. The term was probably coined by Pythagoras. Philosophical methods include questioning, critical discussion, rational argument, and systematic presentation. Classic philosophical questions include: Is it possible to know anything and to prove it? What is most real? Philosophers also pose more practical and concrete questions such as: Is there a best way to live? Is it better to be just or unjust? Do humans have free will?
In philosophy, a proposition is a tentative and conjectural relationship between constructs that is stated in a declarative form. An example of a proposition is: “An increase in student intelligence causes an increase in their academic achievement.” This declarative statement does not have to be true, but must be empirically testable using data, so that we can judge whether it is true or false. Propositions are generally derived based on deductive logic or empirical observation (induction). Because propositions are associations between abstract constructs, they cannot be tested directly. Instead, they are tested indirectly by examining the relationship between corresponding measures (variables) of those constructs. The empirical formulation of propositions, stated as relationships between variables, is called hypotheses. The term proposition has a broad use in contemporary analytic philosophy. It is used to refer to some or all of the following: the primary bearers of truth-value, the objects of belief and other "propositional attitudes", the referents of that-clauses, and the meanings of declarative sentences. Propositions are the sharable objects of attitudes and the primary bearers of truth and falsity. This stipulation rules out certain candidates for propositions, including thought- and utterance-tokens which are not sharable, and concrete events or facts, which cannot be false.
This proposition became a fundamental element of Western philosophy, as it purported to form a secure foundation for knowledge in the face of radical doubt. While other knowledge could be a figment of imagination, deception, or mistake, Descartes asserted that the very act of doubting one's own existence served—at minimum—as proof of the reality of one's own mind; there must be a thinking entity—in this case the self—for there to be a thought.
Western philosophy is the philosophical thought and work of the Western world. Historically, the term refers to the philosophical thinking of Western culture, beginning with Greek philosophy of the pre-Socratics such as Thales and Pythagoras, and eventually covering a large area of the globe. The word philosophy itself originated from the Ancient Greek: philosophia (φιλοσοφία), literally, "the love of wisdom".
Epistemology is the branch of philosophy concerned with the theory of knowledge.
Radical skepticism or radical scepticism is the philosophical position that knowledge is most likely impossible. Radical skeptics hold that doubt exists as to the veracity of every belief and that certainty is therefore never justified. To determine the extent to which it is possible to respond to radical skeptical challenges is the task of epistemology or "the theory of knowledge".
The critique against the proposition is the presupposition of an "I" doing the thinking, so that the most Descartes was entitled to say was: "thinking is occurring".
Descartes first wrote the phrase in French in his 1637 Discourse on the Method . He referred to it in Latin without explicitly stating the familiar form of the phrase in his 1641 Meditations on First Philosophy . The earliest written record of the phrase in Latin is in his 1644 Principles of Philosophy , where, in a margin note (see below), he provides a clear explanation of his intent: "[W]e cannot doubt of our existence while we doubt". Fuller forms of the phrase are attributable to other authors.
Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting One's Reason and of Seeking Truth in the Sciences is a philosophical and autobiographical treatise published by René Descartes in 1637. It is best known as the source of the famous quotation "Je pense, donc je suis", which occurs in Part IV of the work. A similar argument, without this precise wording, is found in Meditations on First Philosophy (1641), and a Latin version of the same statement Cogito, ergo sum is found in Principles of Philosophy (1644).
Meditations on First Philosophy in which the existence of God and the immortality of the soul are demonstrated is a philosophical treatise by René Descartes first published in Latin in 1641. The French translation was published in 1647 as Méditations Métaphysiques. The title may contain a misreading by the printer, mistaking animae immortalitas for animae immaterialitas, as suspected by A. Baillet.
Principles of Philosophy is a book by René Descartes. In essence it is a synthesis of the Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy It was written in Latin, published in 1644 and dedicated to Elisabeth of Bohemia, with whom Descartes had a long-standing friendship. A French version followed in 1647. It set forth the principles of nature—the Laws of Physics—as Descartes viewed them. Most notably, it set forth the principle that in the absence of external forces, an object's motion will be uniform and in a straight line. Newton borrowed this principle from Descartes and included it in his own Principia; to this day, it is still generally referred to as Newton's First Law of Motion. The book was primarily intended to replace the Aristotelian curriculum then used in French and British universities. The work provides a systematic statement of his metaphysics and natural philosophy, and represents the first truly comprehensive, mechanistic account of the universe.
The phrase first appeared (in French) in Descartes's 1637 Discourse on the Method in the first paragraph of its fourth part:
(French:) Ainsi, à cause que nos sens nous trompent quelquefois, je voulus supposer qu'il n'y avait aucune chose qui fût telle qu'ils nous la font imaginer; Et parce qu'il y a des hommes qui se méprennent en raisonnant, même touchant les plus simples matières de Géométrie, et y font des Paralogismes, jugeant que j'étais sujet à faillir autant qu'aucun autre, je rejetai comme fausses toutes les raisons que j'avais prises auparavant pour Démonstrations; Et enfin, considérant que toutes les mêmes pensées que nous avons étant éveillés nous peuvent aussi venir quand nous dormons, sans qu'il y en ait aucune raison pour lors qui soit vraie, je me résolus de feindre que toutes les choses qui m'étaient jamais entrées en l'esprit n'étaient non plus vraies que les illusions de mes songes. Mais aussitôt après je pris garde que, pendant que je voulais ainsi penser que tout était faux, il fallait nécessairement que moi qui le pensais fusse quelque chose; Et remarquant que cette vérité, je pense,donc je suis, était si ferme et si assurée, que toutes les plus extravagantes suppositions des Sceptiques n'étaient pas capables de l'ébranler, je jugeai que je pouvais la recevoir sans scrupule pour le premier principe de la Philosophie que je cherchais.
(English:) Accordingly, seeing that our senses sometimes deceive us, I was willing to suppose that there existed nothing really such as they presented to us; And because some men err in reasoning, and fall into Paralogisms, even on the simplest matters of Geometry, I, convinced that I was as open to error as any other, rejected as false all the reasonings I had hitherto taken for Demonstrations; And finally, when I considered that the very same thoughts (presentations) which we experience when awake may also be experienced when we are asleep, while there is at that time not one of them true, I supposed that all the objects (presentations) that had ever entered into my mind when awake, had in them no more truth than the illusions of my dreams. But immediately upon this I observed that, whilst I thus wished to think that all was false, it was absolutely necessary that I, who thus thought, should be something; And as I observed that this truth, I think,therefore I am, was so certain and of such evidence that no ground of doubt, however extravagant, could be alleged by the Sceptics capable of shaking it, I concluded that I might, without scruple, accept it as the first principle of the philosophy of which I was in search.
In 1641, Descartes published (in Latin) Meditations on first philosophy in which he referred to the proposition, though not explicitly as "cogito, ergo sum" in Meditation II:
(Latin:) hoc pronuntiatum: ego sum, ego existo, quoties a me profertur, vel mente concipitur, necessario esse verum.
(English:) this proposition: I am thinking, therefore I am/exist,whenever it is uttered from me, or conceived by the mind, necessarily is true.
In 1644, Descartes published (in Latin) his Principles of Philosophy where the phrase "ego cogito, ergo sum" appears in Part 1, article 7:
(Latin:) Sic autem rejicientes illa omnia, de quibus aliquo modo possumus dubitare, ac etiam, falsa esse fingentes, facilè quidem, supponimus nullum esse Deum, nullum coelum, nulla corpora; nosque etiam ipsos, non habere manus, nec pedes, nec denique ullum corpus, non autem ideò nos qui talia cogitamus nihil esse: repugnat enim ut putemus id quod cogitat eo ipso tempore quo cogitat non existere. Ac proinde haec cognitio, ego cogito, ergo sum, est omnium prima & certissima, quae cuilibet ordine philosophanti occurrat.
(English:) While we thus reject all of which we can entertain the smallest doubt, and even imagine that it is false, we easily indeed suppose that there is neither God, nor sky, nor bodies, and that we ourselves even have neither hands nor feet, nor, finally, a body; but we cannot in the same way suppose that we are not while we doubt of the truth of these things; for there is a repugnance in conceiving that what thinks does not exist at the very time when it thinks. Accordingly, the knowledge,I think, therefore I am, is the first and most certain that occurs to one who philosophizes orderly.
Descartes's margin note for the above paragraph is:
(Latin:) Non posse à nobis dubitari, quin existamus dum dubitamus; atque hoc esse primum, quod ordine philosophando cognoscimus.
(English:) That we cannot doubt of our existence while we doubt, and that this is the first knowledge we acquire when we philosophize in order.
Descartes, in a lesser-known posthumously published work dated as written ca. 1647and titled La Recherche de la Vérité par La Lumiere Naturale (The Search for Truth by Natural Light), wrote:
(Latin:) … [S]entio, oportere, ut quid dubitatio, quid cogitatio, quid exsistentia sit antè sciamus, quàm de veritate hujus ratiocinii : dubito, ergo sum, vel, quod idem est, cogito, ergo sum : plane simus persuasi.
(English:) … [I feel that] it is necessary to know what doubt is, and what thought is, [what existence is], before we can be fully persuaded of this reasoning — I doubt, therefore I am — or what is the same — I think, therefore I am.
The proposition is sometimes given as dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum. This fuller form was penned by the eloquent French literary critic, Antoine Léonard Thomas, in an award-winning 1765 essay in praise of Descartes, where it appeared as "Puisque je doute, je pense; puisque je pense, j'existe." In English, this is "Since I doubt, I think; since I think, I exist"; with rearrangement and compaction, "I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am", or in Latin, "dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum".
A further expansion, dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum—res cogitans ("…—a thinking thing") extends the cogito with Descartes's statement in the subsequent Meditation, "Ego sum res cogitans, id est dubitans, affirmans, negans, pauca intelligens, multa ignorans, volens, nolens, imaginans etiam et sentiens …", or, in English, "I am a thinking (conscious) thing, that is, a being who doubts, affirms, denies, knows a few objects, and is ignorant of many …".This has been referred to as "the expanded cogito".
Neither je pense nor cogito indicate whether the verb form corresponds to the English simple present or progressive aspect. Translation needs a larger context to determine aspect.
Following John Lyons (1982),Vladimir Žegarac notes, "The temptation to use the simple present is said to arise from the lack of progressive forms in Latin and French, and from a misinterpretation of the meaning of cogito as habitual or generic." (Cf. gnomic aspect.) Ann Banfield writes (also following Lyons), "In order for the statement on which Descartes's argument depends to represent certain knowledge, … its tense must be a true present—in English, a progressive, … not as 'I think' but as 'I am thinking, in conformity with the general translation of the Latin or French present tense in such nongeneric, nonstative contexts." Or in the words of Simon Blackburn, "Descartes’s premise is not ‘I think’ in the sense of ‘I ski’, which can be true even if you are not at the moment skiing. It is supposed to be parallel to ‘I am skiing’."
Fumitaka Suzuki (2012) writes "Taking consideration of Cartesian theory of continuous creation, which theory was developed especially in the Meditations and in the Principles, we would assure that 'I am thinking, therefore I am/exist' is the most appropriate English translation of 'ego cogito, ergo sum'."
The similar “I am thinking, therefore I exist” appears in the CSMK je pense, donc je suis”) to colleagues at CSMK III 247.translation of Descartes's correspondence in French (“
The earliest known translation as "I am thinking, therefore I am" is from 1872 by Charles Porterfield Krauth.
As put compactly by Prof. Krauth (1872), "That cannot doubt which does not think, and that cannot think which does not exist. I doubt, I think, I exist."
The phrase cogito, ergo sum is not used in Descartes's Meditations on First Philosophy but the term "the cogito" is used to refer to an argument from it. In the Meditations, Descartes phrases the conclusion of the argument as "that the proposition, I am, I exist, is necessarily true whenever it is put forward by me or conceived in my mind." (Meditation II)
At the beginning of the second meditation, having reached what he considers to be the ultimate level of doubt—his argument from the existence of a deceiving god—Descartes examines his beliefs to see if any have survived the doubt. In his belief in his own existence, he finds that it is impossible to doubt that he exists. Even if there were a deceiving god (or an evil demon), one's belief in their own existence would be secure, for there is no way one could be deceived unless one existed in order to be deceived.
But I have convinced myself that there is absolutely nothing in the world, no sky, no earth, no minds, no bodies. Does it now follow that I, too, do not exist? No. If I convinced myself of something [or thought anything at all], then I certainly existed. But there is a deceiver of supreme power and cunning who deliberately and constantly deceives me. In that case, I, too, undoubtedly exist, if he deceives me; and let him deceive me as much as he can, he will never bring it about that I am nothing, so long as I think that I am something. So, after considering everything very thoroughly, I must finally conclude that the proposition, I am, I exist, is necessarily true whenever it is put forward by me or conceived in my mind. (AT VII 25; CSM II 16–17)
There are three important notes to keep in mind here. First, he claims only the certainty of his own existence from the first-person point of view — he has not proved the existence of other minds at this point. This is something that has to be thought through by each of us for ourselves, as we follow the course of the meditations. Second, he does not say that his existence is necessary; he says that if he thinks, then necessarily he exists (see the instantiation principle). Third, this proposition "I am, I exist" is held true not based on a deduction (as mentioned above) or on empirical induction but on the clarity and self-evidence of the proposition. Descartes does not use this first certainty, the cogito, as a foundation upon which to build further knowledge; rather, it is the firm ground upon which he can stand as he works to discover further truths.As he puts it:
Archimedes used to demand just one firm and immovable point in order to shift the entire earth; so I too can hope for great things if I manage to find just one thing, however slight, that is certain and unshakable. (AT VII 24; CSM II 16)
According to many Descartes specialists, including Étienne Gilson, the goal of Descartes in establishing this first truth is to demonstrate the capacity of his criterion — the immediate clarity and distinctiveness of self-evident propositions — to establish true and justified propositions despite having adopted a method of generalized doubt. As a consequence of this demonstration, Descartes considers science and mathematics to be justified to the extent that their proposals are established on a similarly immediate clarity, distinctiveness, and self-evidence that presents itself to the mind. The originality of Descartes's thinking, therefore, is not so much in expressing the cogito — a feat accomplished by other predecessors, as we shall see — but on using the cogito as demonstrating the most fundamental epistemological principle, that science and mathematics are justified by relying on clarity, distinctiveness, and self-evidence. Baruch Spinoza in " Principia philosophiae cartesianae " at its Prolegomenon identified "cogito ergo sum" the "ego sum cogitans" (I am a thinking being) as the thinking substance with his ontological interpretation. It can also be considered that Cogito ergo sum is needed before any living being can go further in life". [ citation needed ]
Although the idea expressed in cogito, ergo sum is widely attributed to Descartes, he was not the first to mention it. Plato spoke about the "knowledge of knowledge" (Greek νόησις νοήσεως nóesis noéseos) and Aristotle explains the idea in full length:
But if life itself is good and pleasant (...) and if one who sees is conscious that he sees, one who hears that he hears, one who walks that he walks and similarly for all the other human activities there is a faculty that is conscious of their exercise, so that whenever we perceive, we are conscious that we perceive, and whenever we think, we are conscious that we think, and to be conscious that we are perceiving or thinking is to be conscious that we exist... ( Nicomachean Ethics , 1170a25 ff.)
Augustine of Hippo in De Civitate Dei writes Si […] fallor, sum ("If I am mistaken, I am") (book XI, 26), and also anticipates modern refutations of the concept. Furthermore, in the Enchiridion Augustine attempts to refute skepticism by stating, "[B]y not positively affirming that they are alive, the skeptics ward off the appearance of error in themselves, yet they do make errors simply by showing themselves alive; one cannot err who is not alive. That we live is therefore not only true, but it is altogether certain as well" (Chapter 7 section 20). In 1640 correspondence, Descartes thanked two colleagues for drawing his attention to Augustine and notes similarity and difference. (See CSMK III 159, 161.)
Another predecessor was Avicenna's "Floating Man" thought experiment on human self-awareness and self-consciousness.
The 8th century Hindu philosopher Adi Shankara wrote in a similar fashion, No one thinks, 'I am not', arguing that one's existence cannot be doubted, as there must be someone there to doubt.The central idea of cogito, ergo sum is also the topic of Mandukya Upanishad.
Spanish philosopher Gómez Pereira in his 1554 work De Inmortalitate Animae, published in 1749, wrote "nosco me aliquid noscere, & quidquid noscit, est, ergo ego sum" ("I know that I know something, anyone who knows exists, then I exist").
In Descartes, The Project of Pure Enquiry, Bernard Williams provides a history and full evaluation of this issue. Apparently, the first scholar who raised the "I" problem was Pierre Gassendi. He "points out that recognition that one has a set of thoughts does not imply that one is a particular thinker or another. Were we to move from the observation that there is thinking occurring to the attribution of this thinking to a particular agent, we would simply assume what we set out to prove, namely, that there exists a particular person endowed with the capacity for thought". In other words, "the only claim that is indubitable here is the agent-independent claim that there is cognitive activity present".The objection, as presented by Georg Lichtenberg, is that rather than supposing an entity that is thinking, Descartes should have said: "thinking is occurring." That is, whatever the force of the cogito, Descartes draws too much from it; the existence of a thinking thing, the reference of the "I," is more than the cogito can justify. Friedrich Nietzsche criticized the phrase in that it presupposes that there is an "I", that there is such an activity as "thinking", and that "I" know what "thinking" is. He suggested a more appropriate phrase would be "it thinks" wherein the "it" could be an impersonal subject as in the sentence "It is raining."
The Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard calls the phrase a tautology in his Concluding Unscientific Postscript .He argues that the cogito already presupposes the existence of "I", and therefore concluding with existence is logically trivial. Kierkegaard's argument can be made clearer if one extracts the premise "I think" into the premises "'x' thinks" and "I am that 'x'", where "x" is used as a placeholder in order to disambiguate the "I" from the thinking thing.
Here, the cogito has already assumed the "I"'s existence as that which thinks. For Kierkegaard, Descartes is merely "developing the content of a concept", namely that the "I", which already exists, thinks.As Kierkegaard argues, the proper logical flow of argument is that existence is already assumed or presupposed in order for thinking to occur, not that existence is concluded from that thinking.
Bernard Williams claims that what we are dealing with when we talk of thought, or when we say "I am thinking," is something conceivable from a third-person perspective; namely objective "thought-events" in the former case, and an objective thinker in the latter. He argues, first, that it is impossible to make sense of "there is thinking" without relativizing it to something. However, this something cannot be Cartesian egos, because it is impossible to differentiate objectively between things just on the basis of the pure content of consciousness. The obvious problem is that, through introspection, or our experience of consciousness, we have no way of moving to conclude the existence of any third-personal fact, to conceive of which would require something above and beyond just the purely subjective contents of the mind.[ citation needed ]
As a critic of Cartesian subjectivity, Heidegger sought to ground human subjectivity in death as that certainty which individualizes and authenticates our being. As he wrote in 1927:
"This certainty, that "I myself am in that I will die," is the basic certainty of Dasein itself. It is a genuine statement of Dasein, while cogito sum is only the semblance of such a statement. If such pointed formulations mean anything at all, then the appropriate statement pertaining to Dasein in its being would have to be sum moribundus [I am in dying], moribundus not as someone gravely ill or wounded, but insofar as I am, I am moribundus. The MORIBUNDUS first gives the SUM its sense."
The Scottish philosopher John Macmurray rejects the cogito outright in order to place action at the center of a philosophical system he entitles the Form of the Personal. "We must reject this, both as standpoint and as method. If this be philosophy, then philosophy is a bubble floating in an atmosphere of unreality."The reliance on thought creates an irreconcilable dualism between thought and action in which the unity of experience is lost, thus dissolving the integrity of our selves, and destroying any connection with reality. In order to formulate a more adequate cogito, Macmurray proposes the substitution of "I do" for "I think", ultimately leading to a belief in God as an agent to whom all persons stand in relation.
Q.E.D. or QED is an initialism of the Latin phrase "quod erat demonstrandum", literally meaning "what was to be shown". Traditionally, the abbreviation is placed at the end of a mathematical proof or philosophical argument to indicate that the proof or argument is complete, therefore used with the meaning "thus it has been demonstrated".
René Descartes was a French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist. A native of the Kingdom of France, he spent about 20 years (1629–1649) of his life in the Dutch Republic after serving for a while in the Dutch States Army of Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange and the Stadtholder of the United Provinces. One of the most notable intellectual figures of the Dutch Golden Age, Descartes is also widely regarded as one of the founders of modern philosophy.
The identity of indiscernibles is an ontological principle that states that there cannot be separate objects or entities that have all their properties in common. That is, entities x and y are identical if every predicate possessed by x is also possessed by y and vice versa; to suppose two things indiscernible is to suppose the same thing under two names. It states that no two distinct things can be exactly alike, but this is intended as a metaphysical principle rather than one of natural science. A related principle is the indiscernibility of identicals, discussed below.
The evil demon, also known as malicious demon and evil genius, is a concept in Cartesian philosophy. In the first of his 1641 Meditations on First Philosophy, Descartes imagines that an evil demon, of "utmost power and cunning has employed all his energies in order to deceive me." This evil demon is imagined to present a complete illusion of an external world, so that Descartes can say, "I shall think that the sky, the air, the earth, colours, shapes, sounds and all external things are merely the delusions of dreams which he has devised to ensnare my judgement. I shall consider myself as not having hands or eyes, or flesh, or blood or senses, but as falsely believing that I have all these things."
A first principle is a basic, foundational, self-evident proposition or assumption that cannot be deduced from any other proposition or assumption. In philosophy, first principles are taught by Aristotelians, and nuanced versions of first principles are referred to as postulates by Kantians. In mathematics, first principles are referred to as axioms or postulates. In physics and other sciences, theoretical work is said to be from first principles, or ab initio, if it starts directly at the level of established science and does not make assumptions such as empirical model and parameter fitting.
Certainty is perfect knowledge that has total security from error, or the mental state of being without doubt.
Human self-reflection is the capacity of humans to exercise introspection and the willingness to learn more about their fundamental nature, purpose and essence.
In philosophy, the Cartesian Other, part of a thought experiment, is any other than the mind of the individual thinking about the experiment. The Other includes the individual's own body. According to the philosopher Descartes, there is a divide intrinsic to consciousness, such that you cannot ever bridge the space between your own consciousness and that of another.
In philosophy, the Cartesian Self, part of a thought experiment, is an individual's mind, separate from the body and the outside world, thinking about itself and its existence. It is distinguished from the Cartesian Other, anything other than the Cartesian self. According to the philosopher Rene Descartes, there is a divide intrinsic to consciousness, such that one cannot ever bridge the space between one's own consciousness and that of another.
The Cartesian circle is a potential mistake in reasoning attributed to René Descartes.
In philosophy, incorrigibility is a property of a philosophical proposition, which implies that it is necessarily true simply by virtue of being believed. A common example of such a proposition is René Descartes' "cogito ergo sum".
Gómez Pereira (1500–1567) was a Spanish philosopher, doctor, and natural humanist from Medina del Campo. Pereira worked hard to dispel medieval concepts of medicine and proposed the application of empirical methods; as for his philosophy, it is of the standard direction and his reasonings are a clear precedent of René Descartes. He was the first to propose the famous "Cogito ergo sum", in 1554, commonly attributed to Descartes. He was famous for his practice of medicine, although he had many diverse occupations, such as owning businesses, engineering, and philosophy.
The Cartesian Method is the philosophical and scientific system of René Descartes and its subsequent development by other seventeenth century thinkers, most notably François Poullain de la Barre, Nicolas Malebranche and Baruch Spinoza. Descartes is often regarded as the first thinker to emphasize the use of reason to develop the natural sciences. For him, the philosophy was a thinking system that embodied all knowledge, and expressed it in this way:
Cartesian Doubt is a form of methodological skepticism associated with the writings and methodology of René Descartes. Cartesian doubt is also known as Cartesian skepticism, methodic doubt, methodological skepticism, universal doubt, systematic doubt or hyperbolic doubt.
In the fields of epistemology and philosophy of mind, a person has privileged access to their own thoughts. This implies the subject has access to, and knows, their own thoughts in such a way that others do not. Privileged access can be characterized in two ways:
"Cogito and the History of Madness" is a paper by Jacques Derrida that critically responds to Michel Foucault's book the History of Madness. In this paper, Derrida questions the intentions and feasibility of Foucault's book, particularly in relation to the historical importance attributed by Foucault to the treatment of madness by Descartes in the Meditations on First Philosophy. Derrida's paper began a high-profile exchange between Derrida and Foucault as well as a considerable amount of attention from scholars. Foucault responded directly to Derrida in an appendix added to the 1972 edition of the History of Madness titled "My body, this paper, this fire." Derrida again considered Foucault's 1961 text on madness with "To do Justice to Freud: The History of madness in the age of psychoanalysis" in 1991. The exchange between Derrida and Foucault was sometimes acrimonious and it is said that "the two writers stopped communicating for ten years." Commentators on the exchange include Shoshana Felman, Gayatri Spivak, Geoffrey Bennington, Slavoj Žižek, Edward Saïd, Rémi Brague, Manfred Frank, and Christopher Norris.
The Philosophy Gym: 25 Short Adventures in Thinking is a book by Stephen Law. It is an introduction to philosophical thinking aimed at adults. It covers twenty-five philosophical questions, chosen for their relevance to today's society. The book aims for accessibility. This is often done, as in "What's wrong with gay sex?", by putting the question into a theatrical script.