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- Could 'cogito ergo sum' possibly be false? 19 answers
I just started learning philosophy at school, so please forgive me if what I say sounds naive or has been disproved by philosophers. Basically, the teacher said that Descartes said "I think therefore I am" and meant by it that his existence comes from the fact that he can think. However, I didn't find this convincing and here is my argument. Saying I think therefore I am is clearly true: if I didn't exist I wouldn't be able to think. However, where I think it goes wrong is to say that this is the base for my conciousness. Because saying I think therefore I am must mean that "I think" is true (otherwise we can't derive "therefore I am" from it). So it is necessary that "I am certain that I think", and this in turn necessarily implies "I am certain". But who is certain? Of course, it is "I", so this means that certainty comes from "I" not from "I think". I am not sure if Descartes considered the two to be the same, but "I" certainly seems to refer to conciousness by itself whereas "I think" seems to denote conciousness plus an act of thought.