Thought Experiment Analyses of René Descartes' Cogito

Trans/Form/Ação 39 (3):9-22 (2016)

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ABSTRACT: René Descartes' Cogito is an example of a paradigmatic thought experiment, herald of both subjectivism and new science in Europe's Modern Age, that seems to have escaped the attention of thought experiment philosophers. On deep analysis, the Cogito appears as universal instantiation. The Cogito has strong rhetorical effects for it narratively generalizes from I to all human kind, and its historical and philosophical success can be explained from its concise enthymematic structure that rings true in many possible senses. We consider it a preeminent example of a thought experiment as it states the power of thinking as its very contents. From Descartes' methodology of doubt we can conclude that, e.g., on a Wittgensteinian interpretation, the Cogito is a logical thought experiment rather than a psychological one. RESUMO: O Cogito de René Descartes é um exemplo de experimento mental paradigmático, precursor tanto do subjetivismo quanto da nova ciência, na Idade Moderna europeia, o qual parece ter escapado à atenção dos filósofos que estudaram o experimento mental. Na análise profunda, o Cogito aparece como uma instanciação universal. O Cogito tem fortes efeitos retóricos por si mesmo, generalizando narrativamente desde o eu para toda a espécie humana, e seu sucesso histórico e filosófico pode ser explicado por sua estrutura entimemática concisa, que soa através de muitos sentidos possíveis. Consideramos que é um exemplo proeminente de um experimento mental, na medida em que afirma o poder de pensar como seus próprios conteúdos. A partir da metodologia da dúvida de Descartes, podemos concluir que, em uma interpretação wittgensteiniana, o Cogito é um experimento mental mais lógico que psicológico.
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DOI 10.1590/S0101-31732016000300002
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References found in this work BETA

Semantical Considerations on Modal Logic.Saul A. Kripke - 1963 - Acta Philosophica Fennica 16 (1963):83-94.
Thought Experiments.Roy A. Sorensen - 1992 - Oxford University Press.
Brains in a Vat.Hilary Putnam - 1999 - In Sven Bernecker & Fred I. Dretske (eds.), Knowledge: Readings in Contemporary Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 1-21.
Cogito, Ergo Sum as an Inference and a Performance.Jaakko Hintikka - 1963 - Philosophical Review 72 (4):487-496.

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Logical Analyses of Vipassanā Meditation.C. P. Hertogh - 2018 - Contemporary Buddhism 19 (2):251-274.

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