Lichtenberg’s Point

Grazer Philosophische Studien 95 (2):265-286 (2018)

Boris Hennig
Ryerson University
_ Source: _Volume 95, Issue 2, pp 265 - 286 The author argues that when Lichtenberg recommends saying “It is thinking” instead of “I am thinking”, he is not suggesting that thought might be a subjectless occurrence. Lichtenberg’s point is, rather, that we are often the _passive_ subject or medium of our thoughts. The author further argues that Descartes’ _cogito_ argument is not affected by this point, because Descartes does not claim that we must be the active subject of all our thoughts. Moreover, the author suggests that the _cogito_ argument operates with the notion of a qua-object: it consists in the move from “I am thinking” to “I-qua-thinking am”. Seen in this way, the _cogito_ argument by itself leaves entirely open what might be true of me insofar as I am _not_ thinking.
Keywords Descartes   cogito argument   res cogitans  Lichtenberg
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DOI 10.1163/18756735-000040
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