Descartes’ “I think therefore I am”, otherwise known as the Cogito Argument, is probably one of the most famous philosophical insights of all time. However, it is important to understand just how much of truth this phrase holds, and sieve out any logical fallacies, before accepting it to be a good argument. In this essay, I will explain Descartes’ line of logic leading to the Cogito, and then go on to make three possible criticisms of the argument at hand, before concluding that Descartes argument is not substantial or persuasive enough to hold true to its own premises, and hence fails to hold as a good argument.
To understand why he came up with this argument, one has to understand that Descartes was highly dissatisfied with scholastic philosophy…show more content… When we are sure that we are thinking, we can be equally sure that we exist while we are thinking. Surely there has to be something that does the thinking, and we are that something. Hence, we have arrived at the Cogito Argument. It asserts that there is at least one thing impossible to doubt, and is absolutely certain; we cannot doubt our own existence. This becomes the foundation of his new worldview upon which he builds his philosophical system.
However, this line of thinking does not come without problems. There have been many criticisms of Descartes’ Cogito Argument, and I will put forth three objections to show that the Cogito does not hold to be entirely true or strong an argument.
The first criticism claims the argument is being presented with some very crucial logical lapses. The fact that it’s “Cogito ergo sum” supposes that this argument is an inferential one, and if so, between “I think” to “I exist”, there should be a necessary premise linking both these statements together:
This suppressed Premise 2 then raises a fundamental question; how can Descartes be sure that all thinking things exist? Logically, there is no way he can know this for sure, especially since this premise would not survive under his own radical doubt. Therefore, he cannot know the