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Cogito Ergo Sum

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  • jimstuart51
    Sorry, this may be off topic , but I am just responding to Joe s question to me. Joe writes:
    Message 1 of 9 , Feb 26, 2008
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      Sorry, this may be "off topic", but I am just responding to Joe's
      question to me.


      Joe writes:

      << Descartes' claim is that proceeding from 'I experience' to 'I am'
      is not a syllogism --- what we today would call deduction by modus
      ponens. Heidegger agrees; but, assumes that there is no other
      justification for the 'ergo' in the cogito.

      do you agree with that assumption?

      I consider the forensic inference to be a rudimentary form of a
      transcendental argument about a century before Kant developed it
      more fully.

      do you see any difference between a transcendental argument and a
      deduction by modus ponens? >>


      Wikipedia writes:

      << Modus ponens is a very common rule of inference, and takes the
      following form:

      If P, then Q.
      P.
      Therefore, Q.

      A transcendental argument is a philosophical argument that starts
      from what a person experiences, and then deduces what must be the
      case for the person to have that experience. >>


      Jim writes:

      According to these definitions from wikipedia, transcendental
      aruments are examples of modus ponens inferences, so if Descartes
      did deny his "cogito ergo sum" was a modus ponens then he surely has
      to also deny that it was a transcendental argument.

      As I keep saying, Descartes was keen to avoid using logical
      inference whilst he was doubting God's existence, so Descartes had a
      good reason for denying that "cogito ergo sum" was a modus ponens
      inference.

      The rest of us can accept that "cogito ergo sum" is an example of
      modus ponens. It also counts as a transcendental argument, according
      to the above definition.

      I am happy to accept that "cogito ergo sum" is a sound modus ponens
      argument. But what significance has it got on its own? As far as I
      can tell, it doesn't help one bit in my quest to know if I am an
      immaterial soul, or a brain, or a Dasein.

      Back to you, Joe.

      Jim
    • Joseph Polanik
      ... to see the difference between the two types of argument, try to put the cogito argument into the format of the modus ponens which you ve quoted ... let me
      Message 2 of 9 , Feb 29, 2008
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        jimstuart51 wrote:

        >>Descartes' claim is that proceeding from 'I experience' to 'I am' is
        >>not a syllogism --- what we today would call deduction by modus
        >>ponens. Heidegger agrees; but, assumes that there is no other
        >>justification for the 'ergo' in the cogito.

        >>do you agree with that assumption?

        >>I consider the forensic inference to be a rudimentary form of a
        >>transcendental argument about a century before Kant developed it more
        >>fully.

        >>do you see any difference between a transcendental argument and a
        >>deduction by modus ponens?

        >Wikipedia writes:

        >Modus ponens is a very common rule of inference, and takes the
        >following form:

        >If P, then Q.
        >P.
        >Therefore, Q.

        >A transcendental argument is a philosophical argument that starts
        >from what a person experiences, and then deduces what must be the
        >case for the person to have that experience.

        >Jim writes:

        >According to these definitions from wikipedia, transcendental
        >aruments are examples of modus ponens inferences, so if Descartes
        >did deny his "cogito ergo sum" was a modus ponens then he surely has
        >to also deny that it was a transcendental argument.

        to see the difference between the two types of argument, try to put the
        cogito argument into the format of the modus ponens which you've quoted
        above:

        >I am happy to accept that "cogito ergo sum" is a sound modus ponens
        >argument.

        let me make sure I understand this.

        Descartes claims that the cogito is not a syllogism (modus ponens); and,
        Heidegger agrees.

        you claim that Descartes was wrong to say that the cogito is not a
        syllogism.

        doesn't that mean that Heidegger is also wrong on this point?

        Joe


        --
        Philosophy is, after all, done ultimately in the first person for the
        first person. --- H-N Castaneda

        @^@~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~@^@
        http://what-am-i.net
        @^@~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~@^@
      • jimstuart51
        Joe, Cogito ergo sum as a Modus Ponens argument: If I think then I am I think Therefore I am As I have already said twice before, Descartes says cogito ergo
        Message 3 of 9 , Feb 29, 2008
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          Joe,

          "Cogito ergo sum" as a Modus Ponens argument:

          If I think then I am
          I think
          Therefore I am

          As I have already said twice before, Descartes says "cogito ergo sum"
          is not a syllogism (modus ponens) because he cannot use logical
          inference at the stage in his overall argument when he has doubted
          everything (including the existence of God) and he has not yet got God
          back through one of his proofs. (Reason: Whilst God's existence is in
          doubt, he says that the evil demon could deceive him into believing
          arithmetical fallacies or logical fallacies.)

          Do you understand this point I am making?

          I think Heidegger was just accepting Descartes conditions surrounding
          the cogito. Thus Descartes says the cogito was not a syllogism (for
          the reasons given above), so Heidegger went along with Descartes, for
          the sake of argument.

          Jim
        • Joseph Polanik
          ... the first line If I think then I am would be the major premise, a general statement or universal principle that is known to be true. the second line is
          Message 4 of 9 , Mar 1, 2008
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            jimstuart51 wrote:

            >"Cogito ergo sum" as a Modus Ponens argument:

            >If I think then I am
            >I think
            >Therefore I am

            the first line 'If I think then I am' would be the major premise, a
            general statement or universal principle that is known to be true. the
            second line is the minor premise. in order to make a modus ponens
            argument work, the two premises have to be known before the conclusion
            is drawn.

            compare this to Descartes' own description of his thought processes in
            the Discourse on Method [CSM I, 127]:

            I resolved to pretend that all the things that had ever entered my
            mind were no more true than the illusions of my dreams. But
            immediately I noticed that while I was trying thus to think everything
            false, it was necessary that I, who was thinking this, was something.
            And observing that this truth 'I am thinking, therefore I exist' was
            so firm and sure that all the most extravagant suppositions of the
            sceptics were incapable of shaking it, I decided that I could accept
            it without scruple as the first principle of the philosophy that I was
            seeking.

            Next I examined attentively what I was. I saw that while I could
            pretend that I had no body and that there was no world and no place
            for me to be in, I could not for all that pretend that I did not
            exist. I saw on the contrary that from the mere fact that I thought of
            doubting the truth of other things, it followed quite evidently and
            certainly that I existed; whereas if I had merely ceased thinking,
            even if everthing else I had ever imagined had been true, I should
            have had no reason to believe that I existed. From this I knew I was a
            substance whose whole essence or nature is simply to think, and which
            does not require any place, or depend on any material thing, in order
            to exist. Accordingly this 'I' --- that is, the soul by which I am
            what I am --- is entirely distinct from the body, and indeed is easier
            to know than the body, and would not fail to be whatever it is, even
            if the body did not exist.

            After this I considered in general what is required of a proposition
            in order for it to be true and certain; for, since I had just found
            one that I knew to be such, I thought that I ought also to know what
            this certainty consists in. I observed that there is nothing at all in
            the proposition 'I am thinking, therefore I exist' to assure me that I
            am speaking the truth, except that I see very clearly that in order to
            think it is necessary to exist.

            when you cast "cogito; ergo, sum" as a modus ponens you present the
            major premise as "If I think then I am". the corresponding statement in
            the quoted passage, "in order to think it is necessary to exist", does
            not appear until the end of the passage --- after the conclusion 'I am
            something' is already reached.

            consequently, casting the cogito argument as a modus ponens or
            hypothetical syllogism does not accurately represent Descartes' thought
            processes.

            >As I have already said twice before, Descartes says "cogito ergo sum"
            >is not a syllogism (modus ponens) because he cannot use logical
            >inference at the stage in his overall argument when he has doubted
            >everything (including the existence of God) and he has not yet got God
            >back through one of his proofs. (Reason: Whilst God's existence is in
            >doubt, he says that the evil demon could deceive him into believing
            >arithmetical fallacies or logical fallacies.)

            >Do you understand this point I am making?

            yes; but, you are trading on an ambiguity that needs clarification. you
            are suggesting that the reasons Descartes gave for claiming the cogito
            was not a syllogism are identical to his 'real reasons', the strategic
            motives you say he had for claiming the cogito was not a syllogism.

            >I think Heidegger was just accepting Descartes conditions surrounding
            >the cogito. Thus Descartes says the cogito was not a syllogism (for
            >the reasons given above), so Heidegger went along with Descartes, for
            >the sake of argument.

            Jim,

            you sound like a mother who tells her children "if you ever see a
            philosopher jump off a bridge for invalid reasons, you have to jump off
            the bridge, too; but, as long as you're only doing it for the sake of
            the argument, *your* reasons are valid even if his are not."

            seriously, Jim, what are you trying to accomplish here?

            let's say that you prove that you are correct to claim that the argument
            in the cogito is a modus ponens; that Descartes was wrong to claim
            it was not a syllogism; and, that Heidegger was wrong to agree with
            Descartes that it was not a syllogism.

            how could that possibly help Heidegger make a case against the cogito?

            Heidegger's case is a two step process:

            1. remove the 'ergo' from 'cogito; ergo, sum'
            2. present a case against 'cogito, sum'

            how does it help Heidegger if you prove that he was wrong to take that
            first step?

            Joe



            --
            Philosophy is, after all, done ultimately in the first person for the
            first person. --- H-N Castaneda

            @^@~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~@^@
            http://what-am-i.net
            @^@~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~@^@
          • jimstuart51
            Joe, You write:
            Message 5 of 9 , Mar 2, 2008
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              Joe,

              You write:

              << seriously, Jim, what are you trying to accomplish here?

              let's say that you prove that you are correct to claim that the
              argument in the cogito is a modus ponens; that Descartes was wrong to
              claim it was not a syllogism; and, that Heidegger was wrong to agree
              with Descartes that it was not a syllogism.

              how could that possibly help Heidegger make a case against the
              cogito? >>

              In my posts I have mainly been disputing some of the things you had
              said.

              In particular, I have been disagreeing with your reading of "cogito
              ergo sum" as a "forensic inference" and a "transcendental argument".
              I made the point that a transcendental argument was a type of modus
              ponens (logical syllogism) argument, so you could not attribute it to
              Descartes as he claimed the cogito was not a logical syllogism.

              If the cogito argument is not to be a modus ponens argument, I don't
              know how Descartes can justify the "therefore". It cannot be
              the "therefore" of logical deduction for Descartes, so what can it be?

              As regards "helping Heidegger make a case against the cogito", I
              agree I have not been a great help to Heidegger, as I have not read
              much Heidegger, and as you say, the central argument against the
              cogito of B&T Part 2 was never written.

              All I said "to help Heidegger" was that the whole of B&T
              (particularly sections 12 & 13) can be read as an indirect argument
              against Cartesianism, as Heidegger is putting forward an alternative
              picture of the relationship between the individual and his world. I
              find Heidegger's alternative picture more convincing as he argues
              that the starting point for theoretical philosophizing is that the
              individual finds himself already acting in his environment, and
              philosophical contemplation is a secondary way-of-being which must be
              seen as grounded in Dasein's basic state of being.

              I am not sure that this thread is going anywhere. I am rather dubious
              of your own project. You seem to be trying to construct an argument
              on Heidegger's behalf, an argument he never got around to writing.
              But you seem to be wanting to construct this missing argument for the
              sole purpose of showing that the argument is no good.

              Is that a fair account of your project?

              Jim
            • Joseph Polanik
              ... no. as I indicated in my initial post, I am interested in discussing the common ground shared by both Heidegger and Descartes. I even mentioned two
              Message 6 of 9 , Mar 3, 2008
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                jimstuart51 wrote:

                >Joe,

                >You write:

                >>seriously, Jim, what are you trying to accomplish here?

                >>let's say that you prove that you are correct to claim that the
                >>argument in the cogito is a modus ponens; that Descartes was wrong to
                >>claim it was not a syllogism; and, that Heidegger was wrong to agree
                >>with Descartes that it was not a syllogism.

                >>how could that possibly help Heidegger make a case against the cogito?

                >In my posts I have mainly been disputing some of the things you had
                >said.

                >In particular, I have been disagreeing with your reading of "cogito
                >ergo sum" as a "forensic inference" and a "transcendental argument".
                >I made the point that a transcendental argument was a type of modus
                >ponens (logical syllogism) argument, so you could not attribute it to
                >Descartes as he claimed the cogito was not a logical syllogism.

                >If the cogito argument is not to be a modus ponens argument, I don't
                >know how Descartes can justify the "therefore". It cannot be
                >the "therefore" of logical deduction for Descartes, so what can it be?

                >As regards "helping Heidegger make a case against the cogito", I
                >agree I have not been a great help to Heidegger, as I have not read
                >much Heidegger, and as you say, the central argument against the
                >cogito of B&T Part 2 was never written.

                >All I said "to help Heidegger" was that the whole of B&T
                >(particularly sections 12 & 13) can be read as an indirect argument
                >against Cartesianism, as Heidegger is putting forward an alternative
                >picture of the relationship between the individual and his world. I
                >find Heidegger's alternative picture more convincing as he argues
                >that the starting point for theoretical philosophizing is that the
                >individual finds himself already acting in his environment, and
                >philosophical contemplation is a secondary way-of-being which must be
                >seen as grounded in Dasein's basic state of being.

                >I am not sure that this thread is going anywhere. I am rather dubious
                >of your own project. You seem to be trying to construct an argument
                >on Heidegger's behalf, an argument he never got around to writing.
                >But you seem to be wanting to construct this missing argument for the
                >sole purpose of showing that the argument is no good.

                >Is that a fair account of your project?

                no. as I indicated in my initial post, I am interested in discussing the
                common ground shared by both Heidegger and Descartes. I even mentioned
                two statements that both would consider true: 'I am' and 'I know that I
                am; but, not what I am'.

                of course, any discussion of the common ground will have to take into
                account Heidegger's missing attack on cartesianism. my post concluded:

                "I am hoping this post will provoke discussion on at least these two
                points:"

                "* has the extent of the common ground been correctly described; or,
                have I included too much or too little?"

                "* how can Heidegger focus his case against the 'cogito sum' (or
                cartesian thinking, generally) so that his own conclusions about dasein
                survive undamaged?"

                what's your plan, Jim?

                let's say we avoid a theoretical dispute as to whether there is or is
                not a difference between a transcendental argument and an argument based
                on modus ponens. what then? casting the cogito argument as a modus
                ponens justifies the 'ergo' which Heidegger wants to remove from
                'cogito; ergo, sum'.

                suppose that you do, somehow, manage to justify removing the 'ergo',
                what then? we are left with 'I am' which I claim both Heidegger and
                Descartes would accept as true.

                what do you say?

                Joe


                --
                Philosophy is, after all, done ultimately in the first person for the
                first person. --- H-N Castaneda

                @^@~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~@^@
                http://what-am-i.net
                @^@~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~@^@
              • jimstuart51
                Joe, You write:
                Message 7 of 9 , Mar 3, 2008
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                  Joe,

                  You write:

                  << suppose that you do, somehow, manage to justify removing the 'ergo',
                  what then? we are left with 'I am' which I claim both Heidegger and
                  Descartes would accept as true.

                  what do you say? >>

                  Yes, I agree that both Descartes and Heidegger will accept the "I am"
                  as true, but for Descartes the "I" is a res cogitans whilst for
                  Heidegger it is a Dasein.

                  One of Heidegger's aims in B&T is to argue that we cannot rely on what
                  is "self-evident" when starting out in philosophy. We must look into
                  the history of ourselves and Western philosophy as far back as the
                  Greeks, in order to clear away aspects of false consciousness.

                  Heidegger argues that traditional ontology has failed to investigate
                  adequately how "the central problematic of all ontology is rooted in
                  the phenomenon of time" (p. 40). Descartes is a prime example of a
                  philosopher who seeks to characterize the "I" of self-consciousness
                  without taking into account the temporality of Being.

                  Here are some quotes from the Introduction to "Being and Time" which
                  touch on this issue:

                  "Tradition takes what comes down to us and delivers it over to
                  self-evidence; it blocks our access to those primordial `sources' from
                  which the categories and concepts handed down to us have been in part
                  quite genuinely drawn. Indeed it makes us forget that they have had
                  such an origin, and makes us suppose that the necessity of going back
                  to these sources is something which we need not even understand." (p. 43)

                  "[W]e must in the first instance raise the question whether and to
                  what extent the Interpretation of Being and the phenomenon of time
                  have been brought together thematically in the course of the history
                  of ontology, and whether the problematic of Temporality required for
                  this has ever been worked out in principle or ever could have been.
                  The first and only person who has gone any stretch of the way towards
                  investigating the dimension of Temporality or has even let himself be
                  drawn hither by the coercion of the phenomena themselves is Kant. ….
                  [However] he failed to provide an ontology with Dasein as its theme or
                  (to put it in Kantian language) to give a preliminary ontological
                  analytic of the subjectivity of the subject. Instead of this, Kant
                  took over Descartes' position quite dogmatically, notwithstanding all
                  the essential respects in which he had gone beyond him. Furthermore,
                  in spite of the fact that he was bringing the phenomenon of time back
                  into the subject again, his analysis of it remained oriented towards
                  the traditional way in which time had been ordinarily understood; in
                  the long run this kept him from working out the phenomenon of a
                  `transcendental determination of time' in its own structure and
                  function. Because of this double effect of tradition the decisive
                  connection between time and the `I think' was shrouded in utter
                  darkness; it did not even become a problem.

                  In taking over Descartes' ontological position Kant made an essential
                  omission: he failed to provide an ontology of Dasein. This omission
                  was a decisive one in the spirit [im Sinne] of Descartes' ownmost
                  Tendencies. With the `cogito sum' Descartes had claimed that he was
                  putting philosophy on a new and firm footing. But what he left
                  undetermined when he began in this `radical' way, was the kind of
                  Being which belongs to the res cogitans, or – more precisely – the
                  meaning of the Being of the `sum'. By working out the unexpressed
                  ontological foundations of the `cogito sum', we shall complete our
                  sojourn at the second station along the path of our destructive
                  retrospect of the history of ontology. Our Interpretation will not
                  only prove that Descartes had to neglect the question of Being
                  altogether; it will also show why he came to suppose that the absolute
                  `Being-certain' ["gewissein"] of the cogito exempted him from raising
                  the question of the meaning of the Being which this entity
                  possesses.""(pp. 44-6)

                  Heidegger goes on for two more paragraphs sketching out how and where
                  Descartes went wrong. Admittedly this is only a preliminary sketch for
                  the missing argument of B&T Part 2, but I think there is enough in B&T
                  to form a strong case against Cartesianism.

                  I read Heidegger's argument as a bit like how a person who believes
                  that the earth rotates around the sun (every year), and around its own
                  axis (every day) might try to convert the person who thinks that the
                  earth is stationary. The person who thinks that the earth is
                  stationary appeals to "self-evidence" in the same manner that
                  Descartes does with his "cogito ergo sum". The person who believes
                  that the earth moves has to appeal to a background theory to convince
                  the other that what he thinks is self-evident is in fact false.
                  Similarly, Heidegger has to spend a long time drawing up a complex
                  background theory to show how supposed self-evident Cartesianism is in
                  fact mistaken.

                  Yes, it is a pity, Heidegger never got around to writing Part 2 of
                  B&T, but even without a direct argument against Descartes' cogito, I
                  think Heidegger does enough to undermine Descartes' viewpoint.

                  As I have said before, Heidegger, like all philosophical geniuses, is
                  trying to replace an ingrained picture of ourselves with a radically
                  different one, and this takes a lot of hard work by both author and
                  reader. As Heidegger says:

                  "The question of Being does not achieve its true concreteness until we
                  have carried through the process of destroying the ontological
                  tradition." (p. 49)

                  Finally, I'd like to thank you, Joe, for your thought-provoking and
                  well-argued posts. If nothing else, you have got me reading "Being and
                  Time" again.

                  Jim
                • eupraxis@aol.com
                  Two of Heidegger s texts have been described by scholars as the virtual Vol II of B&T: The Basic Problems of Phenomenology ; and Contributions to Philosophy
                  Message 8 of 9 , Mar 3, 2008
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                    Two of Heidegger's texts have been described by scholars as the virtual
                    Vol II of B&T: "The Basic Problems of Phenomenology"; and
                    "Contributions to Philosophy - From Enowning" (usually called The
                    Enowning Texts). The latter seems the more germane and is certainly the
                    more interesting.

                    Wil


                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: jimstuart51 <jjimstuart1@...>
                    To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Mon, 3 Mar 2008 11:36 am
                    Subject: [existlist] Re: Cogito Ergo Sum

























                    Joe,



                    You write:



                    << suppose that you do, somehow, manage to justify removing the 'ergo',

                    what then? we are left with 'I am' which I claim both Heidegger and

                    Descartes would accept as true.



                    what do you say? >>



                    Yes, I agree that both Descartes and Heidegger will accept the "I am"

                    as true, but for Descartes the "I" is a res cogitans whilst for

                    Heidegger it is a Dasein.



                    One of Heidegger's aims in B&T is to argue that we cannot rely on what

                    is "self-evident" when starting out in philosophy. We must look into

                    the history of ourselves and Western philosophy as far back as the

                    Greeks, in order to clear away aspects of false consciousness.



                    Heidegger argues that traditional ontology has failed to investigate

                    adequately how "the central problematic of all ontology is rooted in

                    the phenomenon of time" (p. 40). Descartes is a prime example of a

                    philosopher who seeks to characterize the "I" of self-consciousness

                    without taking into account the temporality of Being.



                    Here are some quotes from the Introduction to "Being and Time" which

                    touch on this issue:



                    "Tradition takes what comes down to us and delivers it over to

                    self-evidence; it blocks our access to those primordial `sources' from

                    which the categories and concepts handed down to us have been in part

                    quite genuinely drawn. Indeed it makes us forget that they have had

                    such an origin, and makes us suppose that the necessity of going back

                    to these sources is something which we need not even understand." (p.
                    43)



                    "[W]e must in the first instance raise the question whether and to

                    what extent the Interpretation of Being and the phenomenon of time

                    have been brought together thematically in the course of the history

                    of ontology, and whether the problematic of Temporality required for

                    this has ever been worked out in principle or ever could have been.

                    The first and only person who has gone any stretch of the way towards

                    investigating the dimension of Temporality or has even let himself be

                    drawn hither by the coercion of the phenomena themselves is Kant. ….

                    [However] he failed to provide an ontology with Dasein as its theme or

                    (to put it in Kantian language) to give a preliminary ontological

                    analytic of the subjectivity of the subject. Instead of this, Kant

                    took over Descartes' position quite dogmatically, notwithstanding all

                    the essential respects in which he had gone beyond him. Furthermore,

                    in spite of the fact that he was bringing the phenomenon of time back

                    into the subject again, his analysis of it remained oriented towards

                    the traditional way in which time had been ordinarily understood; in

                    the long run this kept him from working out the phenomenon of a

                    `transcendental determination of time' in its own structure and

                    function. Because of this double effect of tradition the decisive

                    connection between time and the `I think' was shrouded in utter

                    darkness; it did not even become a problem.



                    In taking over Descartes' ontological position Kant made an essential

                    omission: he failed to provide an ontology of Dasein. This omission

                    was a decisive one in the spirit [im Sinne] of Descartes' ownmost

                    Tendencies. With the `cogito sum' Descartes had claimed that he was

                    putting philosophy on a new and firm footing. But what he left

                    undetermined when he began in this `radical' way, was the kind of

                    Being which belongs to the res cogitans, or – more precisely – the

                    meaning of the Being of the `sum'. By working out the unexpressed

                    ontological foundations of the `cogito sum', we shall complete our

                    sojourn at the second station along the path of our destructive

                    retrospect of the history of ontology. Our Interpretation will not

                    only prove that Descartes had to neglect the question of Being

                    altogether; it will also show why he came to suppose that the absolute

                    `Being-certain' ["gewissein"] of the cogito exempted him from raising

                    the question of the meaning of the Being which this entity

                    possesses.""(pp. 44-6)



                    Heidegger goes on for two more paragraphs sketching out how and where

                    Descartes went wrong. Admittedly this is only a preliminary sketch for

                    the missing argument of B&T Part 2, but I think there is enough in B&T

                    to form a strong case against Cartesianism.



                    I read Heidegger's argument as a bit like how a person who believes

                    that the earth rotates around the sun (every year), and around its own

                    axis (every day) might try to convert the person who thinks that the

                    earth is stationary. The person who thinks that the earth is

                    stationary appeals to "self-evidence" in the same manner that

                    Descartes does with his "cogito ergo sum". The person who believes

                    that the earth moves has to appeal to a background theory to convince

                    the other that what he thinks is self-evident is in fact false.

                    Similarly, Heidegger has to spend a long time drawing up a complex

                    background theory to show how supposed self-evident Cartesianism is in

                    fact mistaken.



                    Yes, it is a pity, Heidegger never got around to writing Part 2 of

                    B&T, but even without a direct argument against Descartes' cogito, I

                    think Heidegger does enough to undermine Descartes' viewpoint.



                    As I have said before, Heidegger, like all philosophical geniuses, is

                    trying to replace an ingrained picture of ourselves with a radically

                    different one, and this takes a lot of hard work by both author and

                    reader. As Heidegger says:



                    "The question of Being does not achieve its true concreteness until we

                    have carried through the process of destroying the ontological

                    tradition." (p. 49)



                    Finally, I'd like to thank you, Joe, for your thought-provoking and

                    well-argued posts. If nothing else, you have got me reading "Being and

                    Time" again.



                    Jim
                  • jimstuart51
                    Thanks, Wil. I shall add these texts to my reading list. Jim
                    Message 9 of 9 , Mar 4, 2008
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                      Thanks, Wil.

                      I shall add these texts to my reading list.

                      Jim


                      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:
                      >
                      > Two of Heidegger's texts have been described by scholars as the virtual
                      > Vol II of B&T: "The Basic Problems of Phenomenology"; and
                      > "Contributions to Philosophy - From Enowning" (usually called The
                      > Enowning Texts). The latter seems the more germane and is certainly the
                      > more interesting.
                      >
                      > Wil
                      >
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