Cogito, Ergo Sum: Inference or Performance?
Hintikka (Jaakko)
Source: Philosophical Review, Vol. 71, No. 1 (Jan., 1962), pp. 3-32
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Introduction

  1. The fame (some would say the notoriety) of the adage cogito, ergo sum makes one expect that scholarly industry has long since exhausted whatever interest it may have historically or topically. A perusal of the relevant literature, however, fails to satisfy this expectation.
  2. After hundreds of discussions of Descartes's famed principle we still do not seem to have any way of expressing his alleged insight in terms which would be general and precise enough to enable us to judge its validity or its relevance to the consequences he claimed to draw from it.
  3. Thirty years ago Heinrich Scholz wrote that there not only remain many important questions concerning the Cartesian dictum unanswered but that there also remain important questions unasked. Several illuminating papers later, the situation still seems essentially the same today.

  1. Cogito, ergo sum as a problem
  2. Some historical aspects of the problem
  3. What is the relation of cogito to sum?
  4. Cogito, ergo sum as a logical inference
  5. Descartes's temptation
  6. Existential inconsistency
  7. Existentially inconsistent sentences
  8. Descartes's insight
  9. The Cogito and introspection
  10. The singularity of the Cogito
  11. The role of the Cogito in Descartes's system
  12. Descartes and his predecessors
  13. Summing up
  14. The ambiguity of the Cartesian Cogito
  15. The ambiguity of the Cartesian cogitatio



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