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Re: KuJomu - the writing

From:Andreas Johansson <and_yo@...>
Date:Tuesday, November 12, 2002, 17:40
I shan't claim I'm into philosophy, but the question that strikes me at some
point during this kind of discussion is this: Why does something's
unreasonableness prove its non-existence? What forces reality to obey logic,
to be coherent?


Christophe Grandsire wrote:
>En réponse à Florian Rivoal <florian@...>: > > > > > I will try another contradiction, to see what you or descartes has to > > say about this one. But i will not say he goes to far, or such, but > > indeed that maybe he does not go far enough. To me, what could be wrong > > in "I think, I am" is the "I". Nothing prooves that the thinking is his > > own. Something else could be thinking or this though could just existe > > by itself, and yourself might only be passively receiving this thinking. > > So it would be possible to state "there is a thinking, this thinking (or > > part of it) is known to me. We might, or not, be the same entity". > > Certainly descarte can not doubt the doubting, but i do not see why this > > doubting has to be his own. > >Doubting and thinking are actions, not states. As such, they don't have an >existence by themselves, and need a "doer". And since any doer but one have >been doubted away, necessarily the doer of the thinking is the undoubtable >self. This is, for what I've understood Descartes, how he would answer this >critique. I myself don't know how I'd answer to it, and if I'd answer at >all. > >I agree that apparently, this could be a critique of his thought. But if >you >follow Descartes's train of thoughts, you realise that it's only >*apparently*. >Since everything has been doubted away, their is only one possible *doer*, >the >self. And since the thinking needs a doer to even exist, and since it >exists, >the doer must necessarily be the self. > >I myself don't know if I should consider that a thinking can exist by >itself. I >don't understand how it could. The only possibility is that it would come >from >another doer, but this has already been ruled out by reasonable doubt. At >this >point of the discussion, there is no other possible doer. > > > But from a certain point of view it could be considered similar to what > > descartes says, since this view still invole him self, it still lead to > > proove his own existence. But not necessarly as a thinking being. > >Well, it seems to do, since the possibility that he is passive is ruled out >by >the absence of anything except the self to do the thinking. > > > If you want to get mad, you can also argue than it can be doubted than > > your thinking does not have any mistake. Nothing prooves that what you > > assume to be logical actualy is. Since the idea of solipsims is that any > > thing which can be doubted should be, then descartes should doubt the > > accuracy of his way of thinking, and thus doubt the conclusion. > > > >I agree on this, but only about the next meditations. That's actually my >main >critique on the rest of his work. But for the first meditation, the >critique >doesn't work, because it doesn't provide an alternative. If you doubt >everything (whether this is correct to do or not, the point here is not to >deny >the existence of everything but to find something undeniable), you are >unable >to deny yourself, and the fact that you deny things, and thus think. There >is >no alternative, except the unreasonable one (note the term "unreasonable") >to >doubt your own existence. While you can find reasons to doubt everything, >you >cannot reasonably doubt your own existence, because if so, then who's >doubting? >It cannot be somebody else since they have been doubted away as possible >illusions. And if it's nobody, then how come you're doubting now? Of >course, >your existence as a thinking being *is* a postulate, but a postulate which >unlike anything else cannot be doubted without leading to contradiction >(when >you follow a *reasonable* train of thoughts). That's why it's taken as it >is. > > > By the way, could you summ up the next five meditations? I am curious to > > see what what he takes for impossible to doubt, and you think is not. > > > >I do that by memory, so it may be a bit inaccurate. The second >meditation "proves" (or claims to prove) the existence of God. Not the God >of >Christians or Jews or Muslims or whatever monotheistic religion, but God as >the >Perfect. His idea is that coming from the fact that the self exists as a >thinking being, he is going to use his ability to think. And he says that >his >ability to think allows him to think (imagine) a being more perfect than he >is >(whatever he is). He can even think he brings this perfection to infinity: >he >can imagine a being which is perfect in every respect. He goes on saying >that >if this being didn't exist, he wouldn't be actually perfect (because for >him an >existing being is more perfect than an unexistent one - it's this point I'm >personally doubting -). But he has imagined this being possessing all >perfections, so this being must necessarily exist. If he didn't, he >couldn't >imagine it. So his conclusion is that besides himself, there must be at >least >one other existing being, and that this being is perfect in every respect, >including existence. And he calls this being God, because that's what it is >actually. Of course, I'm summing it up according to my memory, so it >doesn't >look as good as when you read it directly. > >The other four meditations are used to define the nature of this *self* >(separate from the body), "prove" its immortality, and then use the >existence >of God to prove the existence of the world. Since all those depend on the >existence of this Perfect being, they are of no value to me. > >All in all, his philosophy is self-contained and contradiction-free. The >only >problem is that his reasons to prove the existence of God are not >convincing to >me, and thus this existence comes as a secondary postulate which, although >it >should play a minor role, is necessary to prove the existence of anything >besides. In this case, I agree that he didn't take into account that his >thinking can contain mistakes. I disagree with this critique only for the >first >meditation, since in this one mistakes can not be made, once you've doubted >away everything (and you cannot say that it's a mistake to doubt everything >away, since in this case it's irrelevant. Whether it's right or wrong to >doubt >something, if there is a possible doubt, it must be taken away). > >Christophe. > > > >Take your life as a movie: do not let anybody else play the leading role.
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lblissett <blissett@...>the Descartes thread
Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>