Thursday, November 16, 2006

Descartes and Nietzsche

Descartes: I think therefore I am
Nietzsche: I am therefore I think

Which One you agree with?


Sophia said...

Nietzsche, no doubt.

Angry Anarchist said...


Existence, to which "I am" refers, is independent of thinking. Just being a bit "anal" about it. I happen to think both are horribly overrated statements.

One thing though, I would have to disagree with Nietzsche in as far as his statement can be understood in more than one way:

1) I exist, which allows me to think.
2) I exist, so I am necessarily a thinking being.

The second is a horrible generalization.
The first is pretty standard logic.

Descartes is more philosophical and imaginative in that respect (regarding point #1)

Or have I totally failed to grasp Nietzsche's implication!?!

MarxistFromLebanon said...

Well, Descartes' conclusion came after he was doubting everything he knew in order to reach the ultimate knowledge which he can't doubt no more. He noticed while he was doubting everything including his own knowledge, he was doubting. In order to doubt, you need to think, and henceforth he came to the knowledge that he was looking for which is in order to Doubt you need to think. That "breakthrough" was convinced him that the proof of his existence was the fact he was a thinking entity. Thus: I think therefore I am. Descartes' mistake was he used this fact for a bigger target which is his attempt to prove the existence of God.

To Nietzche, knowing his philosophical background, he empowers the individual over the surrounding world. For him, a person can't think in case a person does not exist in the first place. For that matter, what gives a person his/her proof of existence is his/her feelings which are achieved through the human will. To Nietzsche, religions attempted to kill the person since they discouraged an individual to dwell on pleasures. Thus, the only way a person exists is through the feelings (rather Descartes' spiritual method), and it is through accomplishing those feelings a person achieves his/her existence or else a person is a dead human (since religion banned him/her to achieve his/her potentials). Thus: I think therefore I am. I tend to agree with Nietzsche's method.


Angry Anarchist said...

Well, yes, I was saying, the definition of existence for Nietzsche is pretty simplistic, biological even, whereas for Descartes it's more imaginative and is based in discourse rather than material aspects. I think one cannot truly compare the two, since they take radically different approaches.

GraemeAnfinson said...

existence before essence, gotta go with Nietzsche

Redwine said...

Funny. But if in the game, (cause and consequence here is reversible)well, try to think without existing. Won't be so easy, I promise that, neither will you care so much about thinking. This was about soemthing else.
It is the I - therefore - I argument, a circular one.

"he was a thinking entity" - this is the Ego which cannot be doubted.

However, if we are at that, my favorite was - (from a graffiti, from the 80's or early 90's) - "God is dead - Nietzsche

Nietzsche is dead - God."

mullet said...

agree with redwine - it's circular. Redwine: when is your next post going to be?

Anonymous said...

Nietzsche no doubt
Existentialism makes more sense.

As for the angry anarchist, perhaps she should change her name to Najah wakim (lebanese joke) Becoming a person that rejects even common sense !!!!!!

mullet said...

in that case - who fucking cares what nietzsche said?

Angry Anarchist said...

looool @ anonymous... Najah Wakim? hahaha... what a joke. Get a life buddy buddy, not that I don't know who you are. It seems you have taken issue to my bashing of BH/NF. ;) What's the matter, can't take the heat?

Khawwta said...

Nice post

Anonymous said...

Nietzsche by a mile. Descartes didn't go quite deep enough... it seems to me it ought really be more skeptical, and the empricists principle... I have perceptions, therefore I am.