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Midterm

HUMA 1160 ~ TEST 2 ~ Q1.docx

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Department
Humanities
Course
HUMA 1160
Professor
Stanley Tweyman
Semester
Winter

Description
The Cogito ergo Sum is both clear and distinct and is a sentence that cannot be contradicted. The validation of the sentence is preserved through its denial being both illogical and self contradictory. Descartes states in his second meditation that “we must come to the definite conclusion that this proposition: I am, I exist, is necessarily true each time that I pronounce it, or that I mentally conceive it” (Med II, Descartes). Descartes is saying that the cogito ergo sum is completely true and nothing can change that fact. Descartes says that the denial of clear and distinct ideas is self-contradictory, like if a person were to state something and deny it at the same time. For example saying “you are smart and not smart”, this is a case of self contradiction where a person is stating that someone is smart and then denying it as well, which implies that the person is both smart and not smart at the same time. However in a sentence that is clear and distinct two parts are necessarily connected and cannot be separated, this occurs in sentences where the subject and predicate are synonyms. Such as “All Humans are individuals”, both the predicate and subject are synonyms of one another. If one was to deny this claim then the denial would sate that some humans are not individuals, which is irrational because both human and individual are necessarily connected. Furthermore these sentences are a priori, which means there verification does not depend or rely on experience, you would not have to find every single person and ask them if they are individuals. The subject and predicate are changeable but the meaning does not change. In other sentences both the predicate and subject can be different, such as “All people are sad”. Verification for this sentence needs experience, because it is empirical and therefore is a posterior sentence. In these types of sentences both the predicate and subject are not synonyms and are not necessarily connected. In the case of the Cogito Ergo Sum it has a necessary connection, which makes it the only sentence in which the predicate and the subject are different, but the sentence still remains a priori and its denial is self contradictory. In the cogito the predicate an
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