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I Think Therefore I Am Philosophical Cow

I Think Therefore I Am Philosophical Cow

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Who needs Descarte when you can have your very own I Think Therefore I Am Philosophical Cow Canvas Print?

The quote, 'I think, therefore I am' is an english translation of the French phrase je pense, donc je suis which originally appeared in Rene Descartes philosophical treatise 'Discourse on the Method' in 1637.

He actually chose to use French, rather then Latin in this work in order to reach a wider audience.

The latin equivalent, 'Cogito, ergo sum', which most of us are more familiar with (then the French version at least), was later used in his book 'Principles of Philosophy' which was published in 1644.

It is also sometimes simply known as 'the cogito'.

(I wonder if at some stage some bright spark will shorten that again to 'the cog'?)

It has become a key tenet of Western Philosophy, because it purports to show a secure foundation for knowledge, even in the face of radical doubt.

His intent with the phrase has been more accurately summed up as 'I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am', as the doubt is critical.

If you can doubt who you are, then you must exist. That is his contention.

(And no doubt the Philosophical Cows! Because he is a deep, deep, deep bovine!)

 One criticism levelled at the idea is that it seems to presuppose an 'I' who is is doing the thinking, while perhaps all that is actually being shown is that thinking is occurring.

Who is doing that thinking is up for debate.

(My vote goes to the cow! IT'S THE COW!!!!)

Like many great ideas, we have latched onto Descarte because he summed up his thesis in a cosy soundbite that wouldn't look out of place on a TV commercial.

But the idea actually predated him by several thousand years, even in philosophical terms.

Plato alluded to it, and Aristotle had the following explanation in the Nicomachean Ethics:

"But if life itself is good and pleasant…and if one who sees is conscious that he sees, one who hears that he hears, one who walks that he walks and similarly for all the other human activities there is a faculty that is conscious of their exercise, so that whenever we perceive, we are conscious that we perceive, and whenever we think, we are conscious that we think, and to be conscious that we are perceiving or thinking is to be conscious that we exist..."

But Rene was elegant.

And Rene went deep.

And all of us like an obsessive, when the object of their obsessions seems to drill a bore hole down into truth, rather than glibly sailing on the surface.

So, it's right that Descarte gets a lot of credit.

Regardless, our Cow friend (I have a strong, strong feeling that his name is 'Fred') digs him.

Gotta love fake philosophy tattoos (in white with hearts) all over your body!

We think that Rene would be very, very proud to have our magnificent cow quoting him (or is he debating him?) on our beautiful canvas hundreds of years later! 

Look into his eye... He Exists... He Thinks... He is watching you...


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