A Question about Rene Descartes

A Question about Rene Descartes
Koen
Newbie
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Feb 11, 2006

Total Topics: 28
Total Posts: 2
#1 - Quote - Permalink
Posted May 30, 2011 - 10:34 PM:
Subject: A Question about Rene Descartes
It occurred to me that after Rene Descartes tried doubting everything in his "genius" proposition - where he asks himself if his whole life is being fooled by some kind of "genius" which btw is what inspired the Matrix movie - he came to the conclusion "I think therefore I am." In which he concluded that his own consciousness is the only inescapable conclusion because that was the thing that was doing all the pondering and questioning.

Yet one question I have is that when you HAVE thrown doubt over everything AROUND you, everything you think you know, what is left of yourself? What are you besides the sum-computation of all the events and objects in your life? He says "I think therefore I am" but what is there left for him to be thinking about? All subject matters are now open to question.

He needs to think in order to be. But he needs STUFF in order to think. If the stuff is questionable, then is HE not questionable?
unenlightened
How many cows? 0, 1, 2?
Avatar

Usergroup: Administrators
Joined: Aug 10, 2007
Location: Wales

Total Topics: 90
Total Posts: 10280
#2 - Quote - Permalink
1 of 1 people found this post helpful
Posted May 30, 2011 - 10:40 PM:

The question remains. The doubt remains. Doubt cannot doubt itself. The demon/mad scientist can fool me about everything, but there must be a fool to be fooled, even if its nature turns out to be quite other than it thinks. I can wonder if I am not after all an embodied spirit, but a mere subroutine in a giant virtual game, but something is wondering, at any rate.

Edited by unenlightened on May 30, 2011 - 10:45 PM
Koen
Newbie
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Feb 11, 2006

Total Topics: 28
Total Posts: 2
#3 - Quote - Permalink
Posted May 30, 2011 - 11:15 PM:

But the counter-issue remains just as strong: Can consciousness or self be doubted? I would hypothetically say that in a world devoid of all things consciousness cannot exist. Because one of the cornerstones of consciousness is that it is the ACT of experiencing. That entails THINGS for it to experience. So if the legitimacy of things AROUND us can be doubted, does that not destabilize that cornerstone? If it's possible you're not experiencing anything real, is the event of experience actually occurring at all? Is consciousness really happening?
throng
Profester.
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Aug 12, 2008
Location: Downunder.

Total Topics: 49
Total Posts: 1249
#4 - Quote - Permalink
1 of 1 people found this post helpful
Posted May 30, 2011 - 11:18 PM:

Why? There is no proof something is wondering. Wondering is thinking and the thinker is assumed.

'Therefore'.

Is it not possible that existence is observation? That there need not be something observing, for that something is observation itself?
unenlightened
How many cows? 0, 1, 2?
Avatar

Usergroup: Administrators
Joined: Aug 10, 2007
Location: Wales

Total Topics: 90
Total Posts: 10280
#5 - Quote - Permalink
Posted May 30, 2011 - 11:21 PM:

You're not asking that question? No need to answer, then. sticking out tongue
It may be that the thinker is the thought, and that the observer is the observation; still whatever it is, there it is in the maybe, in the question.

There is no question of there being no question as long as there is a question.

If we all shut up with our silly questions, the universe may well wink out of existence taking us with it. Shall we try?


Edited by unenlightened on May 30, 2011 - 11:30 PM
Koen
Newbie
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Feb 11, 2006

Total Topics: 28
Total Posts: 2
#6 - Quote - Permalink
Posted May 30, 2011 - 11:55 PM:

>Is it not possible that existence is observation? That there need not be something observing, for that something is observation itself?

You are suggesting that we do NOT need things to think about. That thought can occur autonomously. Well what if we do need things to think about? What if there IS something out there and we're perceiving it rather than making it all up?

This is not a question of the nature of existence so much - whether it's objective or solipsistic - as it is a question of existence's doubtability. Can it be questioned?

>You're not asking that question? No need to answer, then. sticking out tongue

There is a difference between DENYING the self, and questioning it. Maybe you DO need to answer!

Edited by Koen on May 31, 2011 - 12:03 AM
throng
Profester.
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Aug 12, 2008
Location: Downunder.

Total Topics: 49
Total Posts: 1249
#7 - Quote - Permalink
Posted May 31, 2011 - 12:03 AM:

unenlightened wrote:
You're not asking that question? No need to answer, then. sticking out tongue
It may be that the thinker is the thought, and that the observer is the observation; still whatever it is, there it is in the maybe, in the question.

There is no question of there being no question as long as there is a question.

If we all shut up with our silly questions, the universe may well wink out of existence taking us with it. Shall we try?


The question is a thought to the same degree the answer is, and without a thought how can there be a thinker? How then can there be a thinker prior to thought?
Wosret
Assassin
Avatar

Usergroup: Sponsors
Joined: Mar 30, 2007
Location: New Brunswick

Total Topics: 73
Total Posts: 8395
#8 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Jun 1, 2011 - 2:10 PM:

I'm disappointed by Descartes' musings on the mind, quite frankly. I found his idea that the mind was indivisible somewhat excusable when, after reading further it was clear that he only counted the mind as that which was in awareness, and not the faculties of the brain (although he supposed that awareness itself could be a specific part of the brain, and had ideas on which((one he didn't think other animals had, but they do)). This is because he confabulates brain functions with awareness, and is ignorant of the origins, subtleties, and limits of language. He applies deductive logic on conceptions, without realizing that he supplies the semantics, and meaning can never be pinned down in the symbols of language, there is always a deflection of meaning, back into prehistory. This renders all of his "clear and distinct concepts" still doubtful, and not necessarily sound. He's an uber rational guy, but he just assumes somethings, that may be clear and distinct to him, but he never really clarifies.
Wosret
Assassin
Avatar

Usergroup: Sponsors
Joined: Mar 30, 2007
Location: New Brunswick

Total Topics: 73
Total Posts: 8395
#9 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Jun 1, 2011 - 2:29 PM:

unenlightened wrote:
I can wonder if I am not after all an embodied spirit, but a mere subroutine in a giant virtual game, but something is wondering, at any rate.


A moment in time and space, bubbling up from infinite eternal perfection is wondering. An event that devours the cosmos.
Robin.
Unmoderated Member

Usergroup: Unmoderated Member
Joined: May 31, 2011

Total Topics: 10
Total Posts: 130
#10 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Jun 1, 2011 - 5:59 PM:

Koen wrote:
It occurred to me that after Rene Descartes tried doubting everything in his "genius" proposition - where he asks himself if his whole life is being fooled by some kind of "genius" which btw is what inspired the Matrix movie - he came to the conclusion "I think therefore I am." In which he concluded that his own consciousness is the only inescapable conclusion because that was the thing that was doing all the pondering and questioning.

Yet one question I have is that when you HAVE thrown doubt over everything AROUND you, everything you think you know, what is left of yourself? What are you besides the sum-computation of all the events and objects in your life? He says "I think therefore I am" but what is there left for him to be thinking about? All subject matters are now open to question.

He needs to think in order to be. But he needs STUFF in order to think. If the stuff is questionable, then is HE not questionable?


Just to be concieted he actualy says "I think, I exist." Somebody else said "I think therefore I am."

"He needs to think in order to be." Why? I see a reason this is inaccurate but nonetheless let me say, a rock does not think and yet it exists, does it not?

I'd say everything is questionable, and so long as it is questionable it is fair to say nothing can be known. Even the saying "I think therefore I am." I could just respond, while I can't think of something to suggest anything obviously the contrary to that statement there is nonetheless the possibility that something I don't know exists that would make me think the contrary so nonetheless it would seem possible that such a statement is not true.
locked
Download thread as
  • 0/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5



This thread is closed, so you cannot post a reply.