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Title: Re-reading descartes’ cogito: a study
Other Titles: Philosophical Papers, Journal of the Department of Philosophy, Vol. XVIII, March- 2022, pp- 63-77
Authors: Thoibisana, Akoijam
Keywords: Descartes
Cartesian/ Subject
Issue Date: Mar-2022
Publisher: University of North Bengal
Abstract: The issues and problems surrounding the Cogito have fascinated humans for many centuries. It has influenced all kinds of modern philosophy, as well as literature, art, social science, and religion. It was introduced first by Descartes in his Discourse on Method which was published in French as Je pense, donc je suis (1637) and later appeared in Latin as Cogito, Ergo Sum in his Principles of Philosophy. (1644) Husserl took up Descartes‘ Cogito to give the form of transcendental; Heidegger directly assaulted it as an isolated subject that even fail to address the metaphysical question of subject itself; Sartre‘s existential philosophy however was founded on a different version of Cogito whose certainty was never clear and distinct; Lacan‘s, on the other hand, gave an obsessional psychoanalytical reading of modern subject in terms of the truth of Descartes‘ Cogito. There is also the (in)famous debate between Foucault and Derrida on the idea of Cogito and Madness, at the end of the twentieth century, that drifted apart the two thinkers. The Cogito has also been a topic of interest among other thinkers like Ryle, Wittgenstein, Russell, Willaims, and many more. The paper seeks to bring out the most complicated debates of Descartes‘ Cogito, which otherwise is also taken to be very simple, clear, and distinct. It is divided into three sections. First, is the preamble to the ‗Cogito‘ in terms of ‗a thinking thing‘. Second, seeks to re-read Descartes‘ Cogito as opening the era of the modern subject, or the Cartesian subject. Third, is an attempt to give some insight on the contemporary debate centering around the same. The crux of the paper is to give an appraisal of the various readings of Descartes‘ Cogito.
ISSN: 0976-4496
Appears in Collections:Philosophical Papers. Vol 18 (March 2022)

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