In the Second Meditation, Descartes asserts that what properly belongs to him is thinking, and so concludes he is a thinking thing. One sense of ‘belong’ in play here is clearly a metaphysical one. Thinking, as the principal attribute of thinking substance, belongs to the substance, and particular acts of thinking also belong to the substance as modes. Descartes’s near contemporaries, concerned with developing models of education to develop thinking things, take the core of being a thinking thing to have our thoughts belong to us in another sense: thinking things own their thoughts. While it may be tempting to see this sense as a phenomenological belonging, ownership of thought is more than a distinctive first-personal access to one’s own thoughts, and more like an assumption of epistemic authority.


Venue

Room: 
E302 Forgan Smith Building (1)