It is emblematically connected with Descartes' famous pronouncement cogito ergo sum
, she says, and has become something of a social ideology.
Descartes divorced the mind from the sensible world with his principle cogito ergo sum
, thus alienating humanity from its place in the natural order.
Dobell aligns himself with those who have thought Descartes' cogito ergo sum
'bears more than a superficial resemblance' to Augustine's si fallor sum (157).
In addition, the cogito ergo sum
implies a sum res cogitans, meaning that being's essence is thinking whereas res is the scholastic substantia (concrete entity).
Even Rene Descartes could never have pronounced the radical Cogito ergo sum
unless he had first learned Latin from the Jesuits, or been confronted by the problem of the foundations of knowledge by large-scale developments in Europe.
Hecht even modifies Rene Descartes, for example: his Cogito Ergo Sum
(I think, therefore I am), she argues, should perhaps have been stated Dubito Ergo Sum (I doubt, therefore I am).
True, in his early years he always insisted on the difference between rationalism and logic (the potential irrationality of logic fascinated him as much as it did Lewis Carroll), and it is clear that, right from the start, his "serial attitude," to borrow Mel Bochner's phrase, was a strategy fomented against the cogito ergo sum
of Western metaphysics.
The cogito ergo sum
formulation presupposes that, if there is thinking, someone must be doing it.
This linkage between the doubt and dream experience of 1619, the argument refuting skepticism that Descartes developed in 1628-29 and to which he gave literary form in La recherche de la verite and in the Discourse, and the Meditations in which he cemented the metaphysical foundations of his new philosophy, draws our attention to the banal fact that the arguments of systematic doubt are a threat to, and the Archimedean point of cogito ergo sum
a proclamation of, human autonomy.
Descartes's cogito ergo sum
yielded to Rousseau's je sens, donc je suis.