Monday, December 3, 2012

Descartes' Cogito and Heidegger's Dasein

I want to write this just as a small matter of consideration for interpreters of Heidegger and Descartes.
Recently I was considering how doubt concerns the subject and not objects, and that the result of the hyperbolic doubt that Descartes pursues results in no change in the objects as objects, but only in the subject's possible activities with the objects - they become doubtful behaviors. 
I thought it may be interesting to point out that when we doubt an activity, it is not gone for us as a possible activity. I may doubt that I can pick up an object, but this doesn't change the object, nor does it change the possibility of my picking it up (as an action I can try). 
When I doubt all that is possible for me to doubt, as Descartes does, I am left with all the same possibilities, and objects. However, I am not doing anything else with the objects. I am, however, still there in the same circumstances, just having taken a certain stand in relation to them. 
To be a bit cheeky. Heidegger complains about Descartes, but in showing what Descartes overlooked, he also overlooked what both of them overlooked: the Cogito also establishes Dasein (being there) as Being-in-the-World.  Heidegger really does acknowledge this, however, but sees the thing that Descartes as overlooking an inquiry into the 'sum' of the 'Cogito sum'.
(6/9/2015) Heidegger has a very interesting interpretation of Descartes (similar to my own here) in his Nietzsche lectures, Volume 4 (Nihilism) Chapter 16 (The Cartesian Cogito as Cogito Me Cogitare).  Of course, Heidegger doesn't identify Descartes' position with his here.

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