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11. Knowledge Aims / B. Certain Knowledge / 5. Cogito Critique

[objections to the necessary existence of a thinker]

32 ideas
It is a precondition of the use of the word 'I' that I exist [Ayer on Descartes]
Maybe 'I' am not the thinker, but something produced by thought [Nietzsche on Descartes]
The thing which experiences may be momentary, and change with the next experience [Russell on Descartes]
'I think' assumes I exist, that thinking is known and caused, and that I am doing it [Nietzsche on Descartes]
A thought doesn't imply other thoughts, or enough thoughts to make up a self [Ayer on Descartes]
The Cogito proves subjective experience is basic, but makes false claims about the Self [Russell on Descartes]
The Cogito only works if you already understand what thought and existence are [Mersenne on Descartes]
Autistic children seem to use the 'I' concept without seeing themselves as thinkers [Segal on Descartes]
That I perform an activity (thinking) doesn't prove what type of thing I am [Hobbes on Descartes]
The Cogito assumes a priori the existence of substance, when actually it is a grammatical custom [Nietzsche on Descartes]
How can we infer that all thinking involves self-consciousness, just from my own case? [Kant on Descartes]
My self is not an inference from 'I think', but a presupposition of it [Kant on Descartes]
We cannot give any information a priori about the nature of the 'thing that thinks' [Kant on Descartes]
The fact that I am a subject is not enough evidence to show that I am a substantial object [Kant on Descartes]
Descartes' claim to know his existence before his essence is misleading or absurd [Descartes, by Lowe]
Modern self-consciousness is a doubtful abstraction; only senses and feelings are certain [Feuerbach on Descartes]
'I think' is useless, because it is contingent, and limited to the first person [Spinoza, by Scruton]
I know more than I think, since I know I think A then B then C [Leibniz]
The Cogito doesn't prove existence, because 'I am thinking' already includes 'I am' [Leibniz]
I can't just know myself to be a substance; I must distinguish myself from others, which is hard [Leibniz]
'I think therefore I am' is an identity, not an inference (as there is no major premise) [Kant]
Belief in the body is better established than belief in the mind [Nietzsche]
If we posit 'I' as the starting point, we miss the mind's phenomenal content [Heidegger]
The Cogito depends on a second-order experience, of being conscious of consciousness [Sartre]
The consciousness that says 'I think' is not the consciousness that thinks [Sartre]
Is the Cogito reporting an immediate experience of doubting, or the whole enterprise of doubting? [Sartre]
To say 'I am not thinking' must be false, but it might have been true, so it isn't self-contradictory [Ayer]
Knowing I exist reveals nothing at all about my nature [Ayer]
'I know I exist' has no counterevidence, so it may be meaningless [Ayer]
Perhaps 'I' no more refers than the 'it' in 'it is raining' [Lowe]
Barman to Descartes: Would you like another drink?... [Sommers,W]
There was a young student called Fred... [Sommers,W]