Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Descartes' Dualism?

The conditional language of Descartes' own explication of, "I think therefore I am," is worth quoting at this point. Notice especially the use of "pretend" and "if" in reference to the body.
Then, when I was examining what I was, I realized that I could pretend that I had no body, and that there was no world nor any place in which I was present, but I could not pretend in the same way that I did not exist ... Thus this self—that is, the soul by which I am what I am—is completely distinct from the body and is even easier to know than it, and even if the body did not exist the soul would still be everything that it is.

{Descartes, 1999, Penguin classics}, p. 25.

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