Disclaimer: I have answered each and every answer here on the comments where I think they are wrong. So far, I have not been able to find my mistake or anyone clearly admitting Descartes's.
I am not disputing that doubt is thought or not. In fact, I would agree that doubt is thought under another part of Philosophy, but here I am arguing under the ambit of Descartes's LOGIC. Let's take a deeper look into the ORDER of the arguments AND the assumptions involved.
Descartes first says that "I can doubt everything". What is established here, before we can make this statement? A doubt exists, a thought exists to doubt everything, and everything(Universe) exists, which contains both thought and doubt. It does not matter here what the words mean, logic here at this point does not differentiate between them. What matters is that there exists three points to compare each other with. You can say one equals another, but not at this stage. This is before logic has been applied. Think of it as starting tools you got. It only matters that you knew that these existed, you need not even define them.
Does he mean here that doubt is thought? NO, he establishes that later, not at this point. Let me explain why.
Let's change the order of arguments for a moment.
Compare this with.
Argument 1 ( We need to establish that there is thought, doubt and everything to go ahead)
I can doubt everything. ( Rule 1)
Doubt is thought ( Rule 2)
But, I cannot doubt my thought, therefore there is definitely thought. ( Logic for argument 2)
What's the piece of logic here? " But, I cannot doubt my thought".
It is established under prior two rules.
In this the logic has a paradoxical rule. Why? Because Rule 1 says I can doubt everything. That everything is a superset which includes observation or "doubting that doubt is thought", because doubt is thought comes from observation. So under Rule 1 which is established FIRST, Rule 2 is paradoxical, and the logic which is established now has a flaw.
Argument 2 ( We need to establish that there is thought, doubt and everything to go ahead)
Doubt is thought. (Rule 1)
I can doubt everything. (Rule 2)
But, I cannot doubt my thought, therefore there is definitely thought. (Logic for argument 1)
Here there is again a paradoxical set of rules. Rule 1 clashes with Rule 2. Why? Because we first said that Doubt is thought is definite, then we said we can doubt everything which was a superset including all the observations we can make. So this is not absolute as well.
Argument 3:( We need to establish that there is thought, doubt and everything to go ahead)
Doubt is thought. (Rule 1)
I can doubt everything, but my observation or that "Doubt is thought" (Rule 2)
Therefore there is definitely thought. (NO Logic for argument 1)
No paradoxical set of rules here, but this is true by definition. There is NO logic involved at all. Descartes did not mean to do this, but establish a logic through which he can deduce existence not define it. This is absolutely true, but redundant. Everything, doubt and thought needed to be established BEFORE the argument began. Did it mean here that doubt was thought or doubt was not thought? NO. It does not matter BEFORE the argument. The argument begins with an assumption or rule. Before that there are simply three quantities or things we know we are comparing each other with.
Argument 4:( We need to establish that there is thought, doubt and everything to go ahead)
I can doubt everything(Rule 1)
Doubt may or may not be thought ( No Rule here since this is a generic statement which exhausts the Universe of possibilities)
That's it. Only 1 Rule here or only 1 assumption here. So we keep doubting everything till we come to doubt and thought. And say that doubt may or may not be thought. What can we establish from this? " I think, therefore I must be". Why must? Because it reflects that small amount of doubt leftover, indicating that under Rule 1, I can still doubt my thought, but mostly there is no doubt left, so I must be. It's because any other assumption would be paradoxical. This statement is "absolutely true", under 1 assumption, because there are no paradoxical set of statements here.
These are all the permutations and combinations possible of logic(There is one more trivial one, but let's not waste time on the obvious) and the set of rules here. There are none left. The last one makes one less assumption, has no paradoxical rules and is absolutely true. First two have paradoxical rules, therefore are not absolutely true(under established rules). Third one is redundant.
Written word takes so long to communicate. I will throw another bounty if no one still gets it. Current answers are mostly wrong or not getting the point. I am not arguing over semantics, but over his logic. The logic has a flaw I think. Mine is argument 4. Descartes's is Argument 1.
Do I say in my argument if doubt is not thought? No. It might very well be. It is, under everything we know. But for us to say this " I think, therefore I AM", we need to go under argument number 3, which is redundant.
I think there is a flaw, which has simply gone unnoticed, because people think " It is too obvious that doubt is thought". The flaw is in the logic which has been applied. Nothing is obvious.
I apologize if my words seem a little harsh, but this has gone on unnoticed and misunderstood for far too long.
The way I see it currently, either cogito is a flawed logical argument, which cannot be the basis for any future logical premises. Or it is simply true by definition. Little disappointed as well. I thought in Philosophy we questioned everything. Why does it matter who said it.
Descartes wants to establish something. The only means given to man in order to establish something to be true is logic. First thing we check is if the logic is absolutely correct or not.