I—Descartes Defended


  • Christopher Peacocke

    1. Department of Philosophy, Columbia University, 704 Philosophy Hall, MC4971, 1150 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027, USA
    2. Department of Philosophy, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK
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Drawing upon a conception of the metaphysics of conscious states and of first-person content, we can argue that Descartes's transition ‘Cogito ergo sum’ is both sound and one he is entitled to make. We can nevertheless formulate a version of Lichtenberg's objection that can still be raised after Bernard Williams's discussion. I argue that this form of Lichtenberg's revenge can also be undermined. In doing so it helps to compare the metaphysics of subjects, worlds and times. The arguments also apply to Descartes's ‘second Cogito’, that it is one and the same subject that thinks, wills, imagines.