more from René Descartes

Single Idea 5580

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

Full Idea

The simplicity of my self is not inferred from the proposition "I think", but rather the former lies in every thought. 'I am simple' is an immediate apperception, just as the Cogito is tautological, since 'cogito' immediately asserts the reality.

Gist of Idea

My self is not an inference from 'I think', but a presupposition of it


comment on René Descartes (Meditations [1641], §2.26) by Immanuel Kant - Critique of Pure Reason A355

Book Reference

Kant,Immanuel: 'Critique of Pure Reason', ed/tr. Guyer,P /Wood,A W [CUO 1998], p.419

A Reaction

This is why Kant thinks the self is the result of a transcendental deduction, rather than of a direct observation of the self-evident. Personally I side with Descartes. I do not 'observe' my self, but I am acutely aware of its presence and actions.