"I think, therefore I am." Will anybody explain to me as clearly as possible what this statement actually mean?


Descartes set himself a project --to doubt all things that could possibly be doubted. Even after discarding all the evidence of his senses, he was left with the conviction that his own existence was an indisputable fact he could apprehend and verify directly.

In other words, even if he was deceived about all the details of his existence, he had to exist in order to even be deceived. Thus I think, therefore I am. In the Cartesian view, the self-recognition of the thinking mind is the foundation of all real knowledge.

  • Is this thing true even for animals? – Ufomammut May 21 '14 at 15:17
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    @AaKASH - Taken by itself, I think therefore I am is only valid for you, the thinker. You can't assume that any other person --or animal --is thinking or even exists, no matter what appearances indicate. – Chris Sunami May 21 '14 at 16:53
  • @AaKASH you can only measure by yourself, as others might not exist. – user3645033 May 23 '14 at 23:08
  • Also. This assumes that Descartes statement had merit. Both science and modern philosophy (not to mention Buddhism) strongly point to the inaccuracy of his position - specifically the notion that there is one single thing that is the "I" - or that the "mind is like a little man within". – dgo Apr 14 '15 at 21:33

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