more from René Descartes

Single Idea 5579

[catalogued under 11. Knowledge Aims / B. Certain Knowledge / 6. Cogito Critique]

Full Idea

It seems strange that the condition under which I think is to be valid for everything that thinks, and that on an empirical-seeming proposition we can presume to ground a universal judgement, that everything that thinks has self-consciousness.

Gist of Idea

How can we infer that all thinking involves self-consciousness, just from my own case?


comment on René Descartes (Meditations [1641], §2.26) by Immanuel Kant - Critique of Pure Reason A346

Book Reference

Kant,Immanuel: 'Critique of Pure Reason', ed/tr. Guyer,P /Wood,A W [CUO 1998], p.414

A Reaction

Kant is not bothered by this, and says we know it a priori. If it is indeed an empirical proposition, it becomes an induction with one instance, which is the notorious weakness of the 'argument from analogy' to other minds. The Cogito is not empirical.