I Think, Therefore I am
Cogito Ergo Sum
The Task of Philosophy: The Question of Knowledge
‘Cogito ergo sum’, or its translation, “I think, therefore I am,” is a frequently quoted line from well-known philosopher named Rene Descartes. Descartes was born in 1596 in France and died later in Sweden in 1650. Descartes was known as the father of modern philosophy and he gave many notable contributions to modern philosophy that we still use today. “I think, therefore I am”, might seem like a very simple quote but if you take a deeper look into it, it has a lot more meaning than you think. To begin to understand this ...view middle of the document...
Descartes truly believes this demon exists in the world so he wipes out everything he has ever known about the world to avoid this ‘evil demon’ that he thinks that exists. Descartes denies his entire existence and also the entire worlds’ existence because he thinks we are all delusional to this ‘demon’ that surrounds us. Descartes then goes on to thinking that the only basic thought we have is that, ‘I am thinking so I must exist.’ Even the evil demon cannot interfere with this thought because even the thought of the demon concludes that we as humans are able to think and that thought must come from somewhere. This then goes on to conclude two things for certain, I am thinking and I exist. This is where the famous quote ‘Cogito ergo sum’ comes from.
This idea really made me really think about and doubt the world around me. What if my perception of red, is another persons perception of blue, yet we both call it red even though we are seeing something different? We will continue our whole lives thinking that a certain color is red except in reality we are seeing something different? There is no baseline of matching up colors, so how do we know what other people are seeing? I cannot climb into your head or someone else’s to see what you are seeing so will we ever know what red truly is?
What if this is true for more than just our senses and perception as well? This could be the reason that everyone has different tastes and interests in music. We all hear the same sounds and taste the same food yet our mind interprets them into something they are not. This makes it very hard to trust any of our senses. I truly believe everyone interprets things differently and see’s the world around them differently. How can one person taste something like chocolate and one person loves the taste yet another one hates it? It’s a very hard concept to wrap my head around, but Descarte’s theory makes it a lot easier to understand.
Descartes then goes onto write about how he thinks the mind can exist separate from the body. Our thoughts and feelings...