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My take on it: assume (for reductio) that you don't exist. Then you infer that you don't doubt that you exist, since you don't exist to doubt (or do anything at all). But since you can never infer that you doubt your existence (as such), it follows that in being able to doubt, you must know that you exist: in other words, "If I didn't exist, I would not ...


Descartes recognized this himself. In the book Philosophy East/Philosophy West: A Critical Comparison of Indian, Chinese, Islamic, and European Philosophy, One of the authors, Ben-Ami Scharfstein writes in chapter 5 (p 201-2): It is perhaps surprising that in Descartes' own writings, the Latin formula, 'Cogito ergo sum', does not appear. The Latin ...

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