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Here is my chain of reasoning and criticism regarding Descartes’s idea.
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/descartes-epistemology/#2 “In the same way, I began by taking everything that was doubtful and throwing it out, like sand” - Descartes
“All the mistakes made in the sciences happen, in my view, simply because at the beginning we make judgments too hastily, and accept as our first principles matters which are obscure and of which we do not have a clear and distinct notion.” - Descartes.
Descartes begins by doubting everything. This is the beginning of his argument. We can say that it is the first assumption or starting point of his reason, that he can doubt everything.
At this point I want to pinpoint it out, that since I or Descartes, whoever does the thinking, are allowed to doubt everything, we can also doubt “if doubt is thought”. Just because we are simply allowed to doubt everything. I am not saying that doubt is not thought, but pointing out that at this point in reasoning where we have no extra assumptions, I can say that doubt might or might not be thought.
Then Descartes says: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cogito_ergo_sum#Discourse_on_the_Method “Accordingly, seeing that our senses sometimes deceive us, I was willing to suppose that there existed nothing really such as they presented to us And finally, when I considered that the very same thoughts (presentations) which we experience when awake may also be experienced when we are asleep, while there is at that time not one of them true, I supposed that all the objects (presentations) that had ever entered into my mind when awake, had in them no more truth than the illusions of my dreams. But immediately upon this I observed that, whilst I thus wished to think that all was false, it was absolutely necessary that I, who thus thought, should be something; And as I observed that this truth, I think, therefore I am, was so certain and of such evidence that no ground of doubt, however extravagant, could be alleged by the Skeptics capable of shaking it.” - Descartes.
Here Descartes says that he is certain that he cannot doubt that he is thinking. This entails a second assumption or a second point in reasoning which is “ All doubt is definitely thought”. Again, I am not saying that the assumption is good or bad, but merely pointing it out. This assumption is after the first one we have established above.
Now, comes my argument. I am saying that I need not make the second assumption, and I can establish the statement “ I think, therefore I must be”, without that second assumption. Since my argument is minus one assumption, compared to Descartes’s, it is a stronger truth. Here is my original argument as well, although it might be hard to understand( In a way it is circular logic, meaning that I propose to oppose Descartes’s argument through contradiction, and this requires a discussion to understand): Could 'cogito ergo sum' possibly be false?
But, forget about that argument of mine for a moment, and think about this: Descartes in his first assumption says that he is allowed to doubt everything. Then infers that doubt must definitely be thought, without any doubt at all.
This seems to me a logical fallacy. It is a logical fallacy if you do not make the second assumption which I have mentioned. I am only trying to pinpoint that out(The second assumption), and say that I can establish a more definitive minimum inference, which would be “ I think, therefore I must be”, by assuming one less statement. For Descartes’s argument to work, I would need to make a contradictory second assumption, which would be “Doubt is definitely thought, and I cannot doubt that”. Could anyone please pinpoint where I am getting this wrong?