Newton was 8 when he died, but like Newton he already was busy with discovering a kind of laws of nature. He was a mathematician and he discovered the laws of refraction in optics.
This is a significant observation.....the great minds of those days looked at the world in a mathematical way. Copernicus, Galileo....observations combined with mathematical justifications. Descartes dit too.
Mathematics gave such a certainty. Absolute deduction...irrefutable conclusions. If we only could say that of al our knowledge....but so many things were uncertain.
Descartes wanted to find a solid base strong as a rock for certainty of knowledge. And mathematics showed him the way....go to the very principles... You cant question the fundamental basics of mathematics...
So there he goes....dispose of everything you can dispose of...everything of which you arent 100% certain.
First the senses....rubbish..all can be a delusion.....so there isnt our rockbottom certainty to find. But...I am definitely certain that I am sitting here in my room...or can I question even that?
Oh..my....yes....I could be dreaming.....all is a dream....my study , my desk and books...I am dreaming. So..what is real life and what is a dream?? Time to quote Descartes himself.
"I noticed that when I was trying to think everything false, it must needs be that I, who was thinking this, was something. And observing that this truth, I am thinking, therefore I exist (Cogito ergo sum) was solid and secure that the most extravagant suppositions of the sceptics could not overthrow it, I judged that I need no scruple to accept it as the first principle of the philosophy that I was seeking."
There is the big word...I think, therefore I exist...and is every philosophical problem about certainty of knowledge now solved???
You might not believe it but in the past few days I have been thinking about what to bring forward in this lecture. I have been thinking of Descartes word...
And I came to the idea that it is just a great tautology. That means... one half of the statement does say exactly the same as the other half. Like saying ...you are absolutely right and not mistaken.
I think therefore I exist...This I think refers to a mental act...something in the brain. And that other part "I exist" where does that refer to? Only to the "I think" in my opinion.....NOT to physical existence.
If "I think" , which is to Descartes a purely mental phenomenon would imply physical existence then thinking isnt only mental.
Afte rall these years..and taking Descartes fro granted with his Cogito, I now have a problem. His statememt wes I think therefore I think....or I exist , therefore I exist......or I think , threfore I exist....
So all I know now is the I think. You you all there exist..I dont know...might be a nice dream....I have an epistemological problem here......
We'll discuss that in our next lecture. Descartes will be there again too..:-)
[13:21] herman Bergson: I think therefore I exist...This I think refers to a mental act...something in the brain. And that other part "I exist" where does that refer to? Only to the "I think" in my opinion.....NOT to physical existence. [13:22] herman Bergson: If "I think" , which is to Descartes a purely mental phenomenon would imply physical existence then thinking isnt only mental. [13:22] herman Bergson: After all these years..and taking Descartes fro granted with his Cogito, I now have a problem. His statememt was I think therefore I think....or I exist , therefore I exist......or I think , therefore I exist... [13:23] Gemma Cleanslate: oh dear [13:24] herman Bergson: So all I know now is that I think. You all there exist? I dont know...might be a nice dream....I have an epistemological problem here...... [13:24] Osrum Sands: but what if that thinking leads to physical action [13:24] Alarice Beaumont: sounds like what was first egg or hen! [13:24] herman Bergson: We'll discuss that in our next lecture. Descartes will be there again too..:-) [13:24] Osrum Sands: ok [13:24] Manfred Pessoa: thinking is existing .. even when not acting ... it defines us as alive ... [13:25] Osrum: I am [13:25] Manfred Pessoa: well here i am virtually alive :-) [13:25] Cailleach Shan: So if I meditate to 'no mind' then I no longer exist??? 13:25] Osrum Sands: haha [13:26] Osrum: Well as Descartes discovered my thinking makes me so 13:26] herman Bergson: but at the final end it is me who is with a sensory impression of your words [13:26] Osrum: Yes you cant be sure I am [13:26] Manfred Pessoa: so you were thinking about it herman ... [13:26] Osrum: I am [13:26] Manfred Pessoa: thus existing [13:27] Osrum: but I knwo I am [13:27] herman Bergson: Yes manfred...:-) [13:27] herman Bergson: there is a danger in Descartes ideas [13:27] herman Bergson: he goes for absolute sceptisism [13:28] herman Bergson: all he has left is his own mind....I THINK.... [13:28] herman Bergson: the rest can be a big dellusion... [13:28] Gemma Cleanslate: that is what he wanted [13:28] Gemma Cleanslate: wasn't it?? [13:28] herman Bergson: yes...even more... [13:29] hope63 Shepherd: hi herman.. sorry for beeing late:) [13:29] Osrum: yet he relied on god to not delude him [13:29] Manfred Pessoa: but to doubt everything is a good basis [13:29] herman Bergson: he said...even that I think can be an illusion..but I have to be HERE to be aware of it...so eventually you cant fool me [13:30] herman Bergson: there are two things we have to deal with in a next lecture... [13:30] herman Bergson: issue one it what arablella came for...the mind body problem... [13:30] arabella Ella: great [13:31] arabella Ella: when's that? [13:31] Gemma Cleanslate: lol [13:31] herman Bergson: for Descartes gave us the idea that there are two distinct things...a mind ..not material...and a body..material [13:32] herman Bergson: the other thing I would love to deal with is the epistemological implications of solipsim..:-) [13:32] Manfred Pessoa: he was not sure were the mind is to be found but was sure that it existed ... [13:32] Cailleach Shan: I'm still not sure.. [13:32] arabella Ella: exactly and it raises problems in our language today [13:32] Alarice Beaumont: yeah..just wondered where my mind is ;-) [13:32] Osrum Sands: solipsim ? [13:32] herman Bergson: Ah Arabella...si bella..:-) [13:32] Manfred Pessoa: ah but i love mindless fun ... [13:33] arabella Ella: yes? [13:33] Gemma Cleanslate: lol [13:33] herman Bergson: I think you are wellinformed on the mind body problem..:-) [13:33] arabella Ella: me? ty [13:34] Osrum: might not be a problem [13:34] Osrum: we dont know [13:34] arabella Ella: of course it is a p;roblem [13:34] Osrum: maybe [13:34] herman Bergson: Next lecture will be on the Mind - Body problem...created by Descartes... [13:34] arabella Ella: using the word mind for example already creates problems [13:35] Cailleach Shan: What about the world 'consciousness' [13:35] Osrum: only because of word idols [13:35] arabella Ella: yea more so consciousness [13:35] herman Bergson: dont blame him..it already was there...but he really abstracted the mind from the body [13:35] Cailleach Shan: Scentience.. [13:35] arabella Ella: herman but all he really said was 'thinking exists' right? [13:36] herman Bergson: oh..let me bring in another one.....personal identity...:-) [13:36] Osrum: he was certian that he existed because he thought [13:36] herman Bergson: actually that was what he did indeed Arabella..:-) [13:36] arabella Ella: but his existence was only as a thinking entity [13:37] Osrum: yes for certain [13:37] herman Bergson: but thus it is a descriptive statement.... [13:37] Osrum Sands: the world is moved by the mind and ideas [13:37] herman Bergson: so he couldnt have said that...only an external observer [13:38] herman Bergson: Australia is getting an overload....:-) [13:38] herman Bergson: let's slow down... [13:38] Cailleach Shan: lol.... am I really here.. [13:38] Gemma Cleanslate: :-) [13:39] Manfred Pessoa: does not say away above you gemma ... lol [13:39] Manfred Pessoa: euhm cailleach [13:39] Osrum Sands: Australia is getting an overload... ??? please [13:39] Cailleach Shan: lol [13:39] Immin Babii: yeh [13:39] Gemma Cleanslate: usa too [13:39] Alarice Beaumont: thx for asking Osrum [13:39] Cailleach Shan: Go eat an ANZAC bikkie Os.. [13:39] Qwark Allen: :-D [13:40] herman Bergson: Well, my friends, we have an issue here at hand with Mr Descartes...we are not yet ready with him [13:40] Gemma Cleanslate: oh lord [13:40] Cailleach Shan: How so? [13:40] herman Bergson: Next lecture will be systematic...on a topic....the mind-body problem.... [13:41] Manfred Pessoa: he is due to get a lot of citisism do [13:41] herman Bergson: brace yourselves for that one, for it will be touch..:-) [13:41] Manfred Pessoa: as the mind the soul is god to him [13:41] arabella Ella: when will that be herman? [13:41] Manfred Pessoa: :-) [13:41] Osrum: with all his doubt, he was still religious [13:42] herman Bergson: Welll Thank you for your attention and discussion and get ready for Tuesday....wont be an easy one [13:42] Manfred Pessoa: the question is was he religous or just thinking he ws religious [13:42] Osrum: Thanks again Herman [13:43] Laila Schuman: tuesday? [13:43] Gemma Cleanslate: yes [13:43] Gemma Cleanslate: Thursday [13:43] Manfred Pessoa: thanks for the lecture [13:43] Immin Babii: what about friday and sunday? [13:43] Rodney Handrick: Thanks Herman...who would that be? [13:43] Osrum: good pont Manfred [13:43] Cailleach Shan: What happened to Thursday? [13:43] herman Bergson: Thursday...geez,my english [13:43] Gemma Cleanslate: lol [13:43] herman Bergson: good point Laila [13:43] Immin Babii: good Q manfred [13:44] Immin Babii: when are the classes this year [13:44] Alarice Beaumont: Have to excuse myself for Thursday.... cannot come! [13:44] Cailleach Shan: I can see some research reading is in order. [13:44] Laila Schuman: i was afraid of having two classes cancelled...and am relieved they aren't [13:44] Immin Babii: what days [13:44] Gemma Cleanslate: it iwll be on the blog [13:44] Gemma Cleanslate: anyway [13:44] herman Bergson: yes...MIND BODY PROBLEM cailleach... [13:44] Manfred Pessoa: some one give me the blogadress please [13:45] Cailleach Shan: No worries...:) [13:45] Osrum: If there is only mental existence , an dubious physical existence, them the spirtual must be the same [13:45] herman Bergson: www.thoughts.com/herman_bergson/ [13:45] Immin Babii: yes blog add would be handy? [13:45] herman Bergson: if that is what you ask Manfred [13:46] Immin Babii: thanks herman [13:46] Rodney Handrick: http://www.thoughts.com/herman_bergson/ [13:46] Immin Babii: got it rod thanks anyway [13:46] Manfred Pessoa: yes it is [13:46] Rodney Handrick: your welcome [13:46] Manfred Pessoa: got it on my screen now [13:47] herman Bergson: Wel Arabelle Thursday will be your class..:-) [13:48] arabella Ella: ok ty herman will it be at the same time as this one? [13:48] Gemma Cleanslate: always [13:48] arabella Ella: great [13:48] Gemma Cleanslate: tues thurs and sun [13:48] Gemma Cleanslate: 1sl [13:48] arabella Ella: fantastic [13:49] Cailleach Shan: Or if you happen to live in the Southern Hempsphere... Mon.. Wed... Fri...lol [13:49] arabella Ella: some timings on SL are not so good for those of us in europe [13:49] Immin Babii: thanks gemma [13:49] arabella Ella: but this is great [13:49] Gemma Cleanslate: true!!! [13:49] Gemma Cleanslate: ok